Last Saturday was the one-year anniversary of the late and indisputably great Chadwick Boseman’s death; leaving the world in a shared state of shock ever since. 2020 was a rough year for a plethora of reasons, and, without a doubt, the tragic passing of the star of Black Panther hit many fans hard, myself included. If you know me (or have read my past articles) you already know how much the late actor meant to me and to many other kids of color. Throughout the weekend, tributes have been pouring in from Hollywood stars, Chadwick’s friends, and devoted fans. So, a year later, let’s continue to honor him.
Chadwick’s perfect portrayal of a superhero onscreen is most likely due to the fact that he was such a superhero offscreen. His humility, grace, strength, selflessness, and compassion touched not only his colleagues but also the countless fans who followed him along his journey as an actor. Losing Chadwick was difficult for many because, yes, we lost Black Panther, but, more importantly, we lost a brother, a mentor, and an activist. Ultimately, we lost an inspirational figure who proved that there are real heroes living in our own communities. This idea is reflected in his amazing work on films including 42, Marshall, Da 5 Bloods, 21 Bridges, and, of course, Black Panther. Boseman died from complications of colon cancer last year, having keept the severity of his illness a secret from many until his sudden passing at the age of 43. Colon cancer is known to affect people of color more significantly, specifically black men, who are 40% more likely to die from the deadly disease. His co-stars Josh Gad, Lupita Nyong’o, and Marvel Entertainment all posted tributes.
I did not know that I could miss both his laughter and his silence in equal measure. I do. I do… One year after his passing, the memory of @chadwickboseman remains this alive in me. pic.twitter.com/4y7H7Bhtpo
— Lupita Nyong'o (@Lupita_Nyongo) August 28, 2021
Honoring our friend, our inspiration, and our King, Chadwick Boseman. pic.twitter.com/UmOhEE5ZkH
— Marvel Entertainment (@Marvel) August 28, 2021
Breaking my twitter silence to share some beauty. This was one of my final texts from the brilliant & once-in-lifetime talent, @chadwickboseman – take this in & celebrate life. He knew how precious every moment was. Tonight the Heavens received one of its most powerful angels. pic.twitter.com/Hj8Cb1IfZS
— Josh Gad (@joshgad) August 29, 2020
And this tweet perfectly captures my mood and all the feels:
Cant even wrap my head around it being a year since we lost Chadwick. I still remember sitting on the floor in my room and crying my eyes out like it was yesterday. #WakandaForever #chadwickboseman pic.twitter.com/NqEs3l0bZF
— Gabriella Roe (@Gabriella_Roe_) August 28, 2021
It wasn’t just Chadwick’s big-brother approach, his incredible talent, or his grace that placed him in our hearts, but his determination to carry his community and his culture with him into every room he entered. Anytime you saw him on screen, you knew he was doing it for the generation of kids, my generation, who never saw anyone like themselves in those powerful cinematic scenes. He held his head high, regal even, because he knew he belonged there because we too belong in those rooms. Whenever we begin to miss him greatly let us remember: real kings don’t die.
You can catch Chadwick’s super emotional and perfectly wacky final performance as King T’challa in Disney+’s What If…? streaming now. Binge his other films, Get On Up, Da 5 Bloods, and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, on Netflix. Plus, catch 42 on HBO Max and Marshall on Peacock.