No one knew anything until it happened, and that’s why it hurts the most.
Chadwick Boseman, a 43-year-old African-American actor, and inspiration to thousands died on Aug 28th, shocking the Black community, leaving many questions unanswered and adding to the overbearing weight of the losses in 2020. “It’s really hard to see an amazing black icon go and as my favorite actor, it hurts even more,” Jaiden Mathews ’25 said.
Boseman had been battling stage three colorectal cancer since 2016. Colorectal cancer is the second most deadly cancer in the US, taking more than 50,000 lives each year. according to Cancer.org. From the same source, we learned that this cancer, most commonly found in those ages 60 and higher, is incredibly rare amongst those younger than 60. For that reason, this sudden loss has grasped the attention of doctors and scientists around the world as people realize the dangers of the disease. It often happens that symptoms for colon cancer are ignored, but in the memory of Boseman, we can save lives.
“A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much,” his family writes in his memorial statement. One of the films being the world-famous Marvel blockbuster and inspiration to Black communities, “Black Panther”.
Through Chadwick’s role as King T’Challa, the Black Panther, he inspired us by leading a world where all people are thought of as equals. “As Black Panther, he was a superhero to many,” writes Martin Luther King III on Twitter. “And despite his four-year-long battle with cancer, he kept fighting and kept inspiring. He will be missed”.
Kevin Feige, President of Marvel Studios, said upon Boseman’s death on Twitter, “Chadwick’s passing is absolutely devastating. He was our T’Challa, our Black Panther, and our dear friend. Each time he stepped on set, he radiated charisma and joy, and everything he appeared on screen, he created something truly indelible. He embodied a lot of amazing people in his work, and nobody was better at bringing great men to life. He was as smart and kind and powerful and strong as any person he portrayed. Now he takes his place alongside them as an icon for ages. The Marvel Studios family deeply mourns his loss, and we are grieving tonight with his family.”
Boseman changed the meaning of being “young, gifted, and black,” inspired gestures and sayings such as the Wakanda handshake and the trending tag on twitter, #WakandaForever, and, after the first movie’s success, was set to be T’Challa again in “Black Panther 2”. The second Black Panther movie was set to come out in 2022, but after Boseman’s death, many have expressed worries on different social media apps that the movie may not be coming out at all.
Before Boseman’s death, the movie was only in early development and scheduled to be released in 2022 on May 6th. But, since its early stage of development, there is a possibility that the movie may not be coming out, just as there is an equal possibility of the role getting recast. But many Black Panther fans are arguing that the role cannot be replaced. “Don’t recast,” said Jeremy Conrad on Twitter. “He can’t be replaced. #WakandaForever”
He will always be remembered as a great talent.
“What a man, and with immense talent, “Actor Mark Rufflo, Boseman’s associate, tweeted, “Brother, you were one of the all-time greats and your greatness was only beginning. Lord love ya. Rest in power, King.”