Chadwick Boseman’s legacy lives on past his sudden death


Retrieved from: Chadwick Boseman's Instagram

Chadwick Boseman passed away after a battle with colon cancer on August 28, 2020.

Chante Rutherford, Reporter

As if 2020 could not get any worse

The news was delivered to me via SnapChat and I didn’t believe it for a second. Twitter was my first place of choice to look at my immediate “news”. When I entered the search tab, the thought of doubt was made real: Chadwick was gone. Everyone around me felt the change in the air and it was as if it was hard to breathe. I broke the news. No one was prepared. My first thought was that his team did a great job of keeping his cancer a secret. Weird? Yes. He hid the fact that his Colon cancer was at stage 4. He also hid the fact that he was married and it wasn’t known until the announcement. What else did he hide? Chadwick was a private man. 

Then it hit me.

From the start of filming of Black Panther to the conclusion of Ma Ramey’s Black Bottom, he completed these films while battling a deadly disease. 

For colon cancer, it is recommended to begin your annual check ups once you turn 50. He was way younger than that.

Chadwick’s film career is filled portraying black figures and many looked up to him. Seeing his portrayal of Jackie Robinson in the movie 42 was my first time seeing him and it was amazing. I never had the chance to watch his James Brown performance but I knew it was fire.

Nikkolas Smith captures and honors Boseman’s character through artwork. (Artist Nikkolas Smith, retrieved from @nikkolas_smith)

Then Black Panther was announced. Black families across the world finally had superheroes to look up to. This movie was done by black people for black people. The amount of times I went and saw this movie is something I can not recall but my moments of happiness were there. 

One more thing was realized when getting the news of his death:  the significance of the day he died is historical.

 August 28th is a day in the black community where many things have happened: the death of Emmett Till, the song Mr. Postman made its debut, The March on Washington, and Obama accepted the Democratic Party nomination. If you have a chance to watch  Ava DuVernay’s documentary “August 28: They day in the life of a People”, take a chance to watch how this particular day changed history. These events tie the black community together in some type of way and it’s sad that we had to add another thing to its list but Chadwick knew the impact he had on black kids, black adults and the black elderly. Kids could look up to him and see themselves in his shoes in the future. Black adults saw that they can be heroes at their age. And the black elderly got to see the next generation get its inspiration in the most epic way possible. The fact that he is gone is still a shock to many fans of his work, Marvel, All My Children, and more. But his impact is forever long lasting.