After battling colon cancer for four years, 43-year-old Chadwick Boseman passed away on Aug. 28. Boseman persevered through his battle against the illness while keeping it private from the public. His family released a statement on social media, saying, in part, “A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much.”
Seemingly out of the blue, the world was stunned when the media announced Boseman passed away. In such a short period of time, he left behind a game-changing legacy, despite the fact that his career was just getting started. The film Black Panther is part of his powerful legacy. The film was a cultural phenomenon that displayed a broad culture of Africa with a predominantly Black cast, and included African fashion, rituals, and language.
Boseman started acting in his junior year of high school following a tragic incident that took place during a basketball game where his teammate was shot and killed. To commemorate his teammate’s death, Boseman wrote his first play, Crossroads, and staged it at the school based on the events. He soon found roles on television shows, and eventually, he reached his big breakthrough in his acting career playing Jackie Robinson in the movie 42. In addition, his other roles as Thurgood Marshall (Marshall) and Jackie Robinson (42) brought life to famous African-American figures, representing Black history for everyone to see.
“Sometimes you need to get knocked down before you can really figure out what your fight is and how you need to fight it,” Boseman said in his commencement speech to his alma mater, Howard University in 2018. “Whatever you choose for a career path, remember, the struggles along the way are only meant to shape you for your purpose.”
However, it was not just his roles that made him inspirational. Boseman was an exceptional human being who gave his community hope. As he was battling with his own disease, he visited young patients who were diagnosed with cancer. The hospital released a post on social media, paying tribute to Boseman. “Two years ago, Chadwick visited the St. Jude campus and brought with him not only toys for our patients, but also joy, courage and inspiration,” the hospital said in the post.
In the end, Boseman was a powerful figure who inspired people to strive for the best and overcome their challenges. The fact that he hid his fight with colon cancer and continued to produce many high-quality films at the same time is a heart-breaking testament to his dedication to his work. Boseman was a hard-working, extraordinary and resilient person; he was not just a king, he was also a man of selflessness and happiness who brought change wherever he went.