We need to only look to the outpouring of grief over his untimely death to know that the “Black Panther” star was influential beyond the screen.
And while I was in no way trying to negate the universality of admiration for the actor, there can be no denying the symbolism and importance of Boseman and “Black Panther” to African Americans in particular.
The complaints did get me thinking of what the loss of Boseman means to the world more broadly, and there are indeed several lessons we can take from his life to honor his legacy.
Perseverance: There was shock all around to discover that Boseman privately battled colon cancer for four years.
He played T’Challa/Black Panther in more than one Marvel film during his illness, and now knowing that he was sick, it’s almost incomprehensible when you look at the physicality of that role alone — and yet he also starred in other films in that time frame.
“We rarely stopped moving during our sessions,” Henderson said of Boseman, who had a background in martial arts. “We trained like we were going into the fight of our lives.”
Humility: Boseman kept his diagnosis largely private, focusing on work and shining a light on others.
He visited young cancer patients in the hospital, even as he battled his own disease.
Boseman in 2018 broke down during an interview he and some of his fellow cast members did for SiriusXM as he told the story of two little boys who were terminally ill and whose parents told him they were trying to hold on for the release of “Black Panther.”
The actor got emotional talking about the boys, who had passed away, and the importance of the film to the Black community because of the representation.
“It means a lot,” he said through his tears.
“Because he was a caretaker, a leader, and a man of faith, dignity and pride, he shielded his collaborators from his suffering,” Coogler wrote. “He lived a beautiful life. And he made great art.”
None more so than his “Black Panther” role, the weight of which he knew would be heavy given what it would mean to fans.
“I knew that an African accent could carry all of that passion in the English language just as well as a British one could if not better,” Boseman said.
Love: It’s a word that has come up frequently from those who knew the actor best.
Boseman clearly loved his art, those closest to him and his fans.
Watching him surprise some of those fans on an episode of “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” from two years ago feels both devastating and healing.
Because Boseman got to hear firsthand what his work meant to people, you could see what that meant to him.
Love is why we grieve so intensely for a star who burned for such a short period of time, but was the brightest.
Everything about Boseman seems to come back to him being of service — to Bassett and to us — via his talent and his grace. So as she wrote in her tribute, I choose to believe “thou aren’t not dead but flown afar,” Mr. Boseman. We appreciate all you left us with before you took that trip.
For your weekend
Three things to watch:
One of the year’s most anticipated films is getting released, though not in the way that had been planned.
Yifei Liu stars as a fearless young woman who decides to disguise herself as a man to fight in place of her father.
‘Chef’s Table: BBQ’
Weekends were made for barbecue.
Netflix’s critically acclaimed and Emmy-nominated series is back for a new season, this time “delving into the smoky, juicy world of barbecue.”
Featured chefs and pitmasters include Tootsie Tomanetz, an 85-year-old grandmother who still shovels the coals at her Texas restaurant; Lennox Hastie, an Australian chef who sources all of his ingredients from the…
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