Black Panther actor Chadwick Boseman passed away sadly on August 28 of cancer, and with the loss of this great man, the world has lost a real life hero
The late Chadwick Boseman was famous for his iconic portrayal of Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but the actor was as important to society as his superhero character in the MCU. 2018's Black Panther was easily one of his biggest MCU movies. It was a cultural event that tackled issues of black identity, prejudice and racism, and exhibited a boldness that is quite unusual in superhero movies. This cultural relevance is actually increasing over time, as discussions of racial identity and prejudice become even more urgent.
That, in part, explains why the news of Chadwick Boseman's death has come such a tragic shock. The Black Panther star passed away on August 28, 2020 due to colon cancer. He received the diagnosis 4 years ago and has been fighting it privately for almost the entirety of his career at UCM. “From Marshall and Da 5 Bloods to August Wilson's Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” his family observed in an official statement, “all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy. It was his career honor to bring King T “Challa to life in Black Panther”.
But while it's easy for Marvel fans to focus on his impact as Black Panther, Chadwick Boseman should also be honored for his own activism and the strength of his ethical convictions. In May 2018, when Black Panther's success was at its peak, Boseman delivered a speech at his alma mater, Howard University, that outlined his philosophy perfectly. "Purpose is the essential element of you," Boseman told the graduates. “It is the reason you are on the planet at this particular time in history. Your own existence is wrapped up in the things that you are here to accomplish. " These words take on new meaning now that the world knows that Boseman was battling cancer at the time he said them; however, in truth, he lived up to this mandate long before the diagnosis.
Chadwick Boseman's initial attempt to break into television hit a wall when he realized that a role he was playing was stereotyped; he was fired after questioning the way it was written. Without being afraid to choose conviction over expediency, Boseman lived by the words he spoke: "Take the hardest road, the most complicated, the one with more failures at the beginning than successes," he recommended in his speech, recalling this incident. "Then you won't regret it."
Chadwick Boseman earned a reputation for diving deep into the souls of black activists in some movies playing James Brown or civil rights lawyer Thurgood Marshall. The launch of Black Panther was accompanied by tremendous charity work, with the launch of the “Black Panther Challenge” to help underprivileged black children watch the film for inspiration. Disney celebrated Black Panther's success by donating $ 1 million to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America to help develop its science, technology, engineering and math programs.
Boseman was at the forefront of all these campaigns and more, ensuring that Black Panther represented more than just its box office. On several occasions, Boseman visited sick children to help enliven their spirits, and he met children dying of cancer at St Jude Children's Research Hospital in September 2018. That visit now also takes on a much more personal tone given how which is now known about its context. Meanwhile, Boseman was a prominent supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement, opposing prejudice and bigotry in the United States and around the world.
One of Chadwick Boseman's last public acts is a testimony of his life. In April 2020, Boseman posted a video on Instagram celebrating Jackie Robinson Day, announcing a partnership between former Legendary Entertainment CEO Thomas Tull and surgical gown maker FIGS. Known as "Operation 42," this included a $ 4.2 million donation in medical equipment to the black communities hardest hit by the coronavirus. He posted the video despite the fact that Jackie Robinson's day had been rescheduled due to the pandemic; In a strange twist of fate, it was finally celebrated on August 28, the same day that Boseman passed away. While Boseman will be remembered for his portrayal of the King of Wakanda, this should only serve as an important reminder that he was more than just a Marvel superhero in fiction. He was a hero in his own right.
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