On August 28, 2020, a heartbreaking post was posted on Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman’s Facebook page.
“It is with immeasurable grief that we confirm the passing of Chadwick Boseman.Chadwick was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016, and battled with it these last 4 years as it progressed to stage IV. A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much. From Marshall to Da 5 Bloods, August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and several more, all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy. It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther. He died in his home, with his wife and family by his side. The family thanks you for your love and prayers, and asks that you continue to respect their privacy during this difficult time. ” –Chadwick Boseman’s Official Facebook Page
As the news began to spread of Boseman’s passing, fans took to the internet to mourn, but also to honor a man who was a hero not just on film but in real life. Before I share tweets from fans, I would like to share my own personal feelings.
I am a Puerto Rican woman, but I am also Afro-Latina. My complexion doesn’t really tell my heritage. My paternal grandfather’s family is from Africa. They were proud of their roots and it was important to them to honor that. When I first saw Chadwick Boseman take the mantle of Black Panther, I was elated. T’Challa’s presence was not only powerful but it was beautiful. Every move he made, every word he spoke carried with it all the grace and regalia of a King. A King who comes from a place just as regal as he was.
As I watched him, I saw my grandfather, a dark-skinned man who faced adversity in the land of the free but never let it dampen his life or heart. I saw my godfather, a black man who introduced me to anime and comics- in particular the Black Panther. If I felt a sense of pride seeing the superhero on the big screen, I know that millions of black people everywhere felt 1000 percent more pride than me. They not only saw their culture and their ancestors; they saw themselves being triumphant and celebrated.
My grandfather passed away in 2009, so he was never able to see Boseman as T’Challa, but I took my son and I took my grandfather’s photo to see The Black Panther. For me it was like introducing my son to the man he never got to meet, while also allowing myself to see my grandfather as I always saw him: My hero.
Chadwick Boseman knew that his role wasn’t just one that would make him a Box Office giant; he knew that it would spark a great change. Boseman became a symbol of hope, pride, strength, integrity, and beauty. A symbol that will forever shine brightly in the millions of lives he touched with his message of selflessness and activism.
Here are some of the reactions from people on Twitter:
Chadwick was such an elegant man with great integrity and tremendous talent. He inspired an entire generation to stand up and be king. Honor him by emulating him-show kindness and love to others. Share your talents in ways that impact. Always strive to be a light in the darkness. pic.twitter.com/8XRpRejnf7
— Russo Brothers (@Russo_Brothers) August 29, 2020
Mr. Boseman leveled the playing field while fighting for his life… That’s heroism. I’ll remember the good times, the laughter, and the way he changed the game… #chadwickforever @chadwickboseman pic.twitter.com/IFfCSmLrhR
— Robert Downey Jr (@RobertDowneyJr) August 29, 2020
A few hours later and I’m still in disbelief. I don’t know why this hits so differently. We’ve lost so many great Black men these past few months from violence, racism, and disease. I know that we have to keep going, but man is it hard.
— Dominique Johnson (@peakjohn) August 29, 2020
Right now I’m thinking about my 72 year-old father who’d never seen an MCU movie, but let me take him to Black Panther. How he lived through Jim Crow. How he said, at the end of the movie: “I never thought they’d put us onscreen like that.” That’s the impact of this body of work.
— Tracy Deonn 💙⚔️♥️ PREORDER LEGENDBORN (@tracydeonn) August 29, 2020
2020 wants to take everything from us. We can’t let it.
Vote. Do it for Chadwick. Remake the world in his image: beautiful, kind, creative, strong, inspiring… https://t.co/OqY7QnVZFi
— Sasha Perl-Raver (@sashaperlraver) August 29, 2020
“He wasn’t going to take a role that was going to embarrass him, embarrass his people.”
— Black Girl Nerds (@BlackGirlNerds) August 31, 2020
He was visiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital giving support to kids fighting their own battle with cancer in 2018 while he had colon cancer himself. That’s being a superhero
Rest In Peace.#ChadwickBoseman pic.twitter.com/C4LOoi7y48
— HB’ (@HBahaa10) August 30, 2020
Remember when Christopher Reeves died and America was heartbroken bc Superman had died? Well, that’s how we feel with the death of #ChadwickBoseman, only with Reeves we saw his illness play out over years. Baseman’s death was more of a shock because we didn’t know he was sick. pic.twitter.com/EA70YnvAIe
— Charles M. Blow (@CharlesMBlow) August 30, 2020
— 🌸Kayla🌸 (@obxtomhinkler97) August 30, 2020
— Pliket-Pliket (COMMISSION CLOSED) (@HanumTaza) August 30, 2020
— ahmed (@ahmed43335833) August 30, 2020
How are you handling Chadwick Boseman’s passing? What is your favorite film of his? Let us know in the comments and on our socials.
R.I.P. Chadwick Boseman
The Fandom Spotlite Team sends their heartfelt wishes to his family, friends and fans.