Chadwick Boseman’s legacy can be continued

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.

Marvel shot 2018’s “Avengers: Infinity War” and 2019’s “Avengers: Endgame” back to back soon after filming for “Black Panther” wrapped.
Boseman’s personal trainer, Addison Henderson, told Men’s Journal in 2018 that his client spent a year in constant training for the films.

“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.

“Black Panther” director Ryan Coogler penned a beautiful tribute to his star and said even he was unaware that Boseman was ill.

“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.”

Passion: Boseman played myriad historical figures including Jackie Robinson, James Brown, and Thurgood Marshall, and he gave his all to each and every role.

None more so than his “Black Panther” role, the weight of which he knew would be heavy given what it would mean to fans.

The actor advocated for T’Challa to speak with an African accent in “Black Panther,” Coogler wrote, and Boseman explained to Trevor Noah (who is South African) in an interview promoting the film why this move was so important.

“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.

Spike Lee, his director in the Netflix film “Da 5 Bloods” released in June, remembered Boseman on Instagram with a photo captioned “God Is Love. Love Is Chadwick.”

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.

In paying tribute on Instagram, Angela Bassett, who played his mother in “Black Panther,” recalled receiving an honorary degree from Howard University in Washington, DC, years ago and Boseman, then a student, was assigned to escort her on campus.

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:

Yifei Liu in "Mulan."

One of the year’s most anticipated films is getting released, though not in the way that had been planned.

The live action version of “Mulan” isn’t coming to theaters, but it does start streaming on Disney + Friday — for an additional fee.

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’

Rosalia Chay Chuc of Yaxunah, Mexico, and her traditional Mayan cooking appear on "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…

Read More: Chadwick Boseman’s legacy can be continued

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Privacy & Cookies Policy

Get more stuff like this
in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.