Chadwick Boseman’s journey may have been cut short after losing his four-year battle with colon cancer, but he left a legacy that has inspired many people and made a huge cultural impact—not only in the entertainment industry but in the whole world.
The whole world was stunned when the news of his passing broke on social media on Saturday, August 29. Boseman’s death was one of the biggest heartbreaks of this year following the deaths of NBA star Kobe Bryant in a helicopter crash and Glee star Naya Rivera in a tragic lake accident.
As friends, colleagues, and fans reminisce about Boseman’s glory and talent over the years, many people paid tribute to what the Black Panther star was and has done in and out of the camera.
Read on as My Pope celebrates the life and legacy of Chadwick Boseman.
His works gave voice to the African-American people.
In his short 43 years on Earth, Boseman had a lot of opportunities to be a part of movies that have become an integral part of awakening the awareness for African-American excellence. (Read: 3 Times Beyoncé Gave Voice to the ‘Black Lives Matter’ Movement) His greatest contribution was when he made Marvel history for his role as King T’challa in the Black Panther film, as it named him the first-ever African-American superhero to star in his own standalone film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Boseman’s talents extended to not only portraying his roles but choosing them, too. Before his iconic stint as King T’Challa, Boseman had the chance to portray several real-life inspirational historical figures from the African-American community, such as American professional baseball player Jackie Robinson, American singer-songwriter James Brown, and former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States Thurgood Marshall. The world might have lost Boseman, but the symbolism he represents lives on.
His life was an inspiration to the marginalized.
Undoubtedly, Boseman has been an inspiration to many of us. But what he has gifted to the marginalized can mean so much more. (Read: Meet 4 Celebrities Who Advocate for Civil Rights)
Through his works, Boseman has become a compelling, powerful, and truthful icon who advocated for the excellence of those who are not usually seen and heard in their respective industries. The characters he played in his movies and the recognitions he received for his outstanding works are proof that anyone—regardless of their age, color, or status—can make a difference in this world so long as they put their heart and mind into it.
His legacy as a cancer champion lives on.
Boseman has never publicly shared his colon cancer journey. And despite his illness, he managed to star in several blockbuster movies—one of which is Black Panther, which was filmed after he was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer in 2016. Now, in the wake of Boseman’s death, many people have started raising questions about the disease, especially about the risks of colon cancer and how one can fight it—like what Boseman did.