November 29, 1976 – August 28, 2020
On the afternoon of August 28th, the world received the sudden and tragic news of Chadwick Boseman’s death. A world renowned actor and man of great character was taken from us due to colon cancer. Each role he took on was portrayed at the highest level, but his legacy is more than just about acting.
Chadwick Boseman grew up in South Carolina with ethnic roots tracing back to Nigeria and Sierra Leone. He was raised in a Christian family and was proud of his African heritage. Chadwick graduated from Howard University with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts and directing. He then moved on to studying at the British American Drama Academy in Oxford, England. He was clearly a very well-educated man and combined his knowledge with his unmatched character to become a fantastic actor/producer.
Some of Chadwick’s big roles were in movies such as Draft Day, The Express, Da 5 Bloods, and Marshall. He is most known for his roles as the Black Panther and Jackie Robinson in the movie 42. In each of these roles, he took on the persona of a black man who was either breaking barriers or holding a position of power. Boseman was a strong advocate for social equality and did much of his best work while fighting colon cancer.
In one of his first acting gigs, Boseman played a young man in the soap opera “All my Children.” He depicted a gang member who was adopted into a white family. Chadwick was only there for a short while after being fired by the show for being critical of the stereotypical plot. Ironically, he was replaced by his future nemesis Michael B. Jordan, known as “Killmonger” in the Black Panther movie. Although Boseman was fired, it was evident that the character became casted in a more appropriate way due to the pressure he placed on the show.
Boseman’s transcendent performances in the movies 42, The Express, and Draft Day were viewed by different audiences in the sports world as outstanding. He told the story of the first black man to ever play in Major League Baseball like he truly lived the experiences. His role in The Express was similar in the way that he was a friend to Ernie Davis, the first African American to win the Heisman Trophy in college football. In Draft Day, Chadwick plays a linebacker who is able to convince the Cleveland Browns to draft him at #1 overall, setting an example for young African Americans looking to be independently successful.
He was completely selfless in his career. Although Boseman was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2016, he still participated in over 10 movie productions leading up to his death. Not only did Chadwick’s role as the Black Panther help the movie gross more than $630 million, it also inspired a sense of pride in African and African American cultures. Some believe that the Black Panther was the first superhero that black children could identify themselves with.
What is next for the Black Panther?
Prior to the heartbreaking death of Chadwick Boseman, there were plans for a sequel of the Black Panther to take place in 2022. Personally, I believe the plans for production will not be cancelled, and Chadwick Boseman will be included in the film to some extent. Disney, the company who owns the rights to Marvel movies, has the technological capabilities to display Chadwick Boseman in the sequel and it will be interesting to see if they do. I gathered the opinions of a few DMACC students to see what they think is next for the Black Panther movies and they had varying opinions like Tre Mungin, freshman baseball player from Omaha.
“Black Panther 2 will probably come out as soon as they find an actor to replace him,” he said. He elaborated by saying “a solid actor for the job could be John Boyega.”
Boyega is most known for his role as Finn in the latest Star Wars movies and has been voicing plenty of his beliefs about equality at protests and on social media. It seems as if he could be a good option for the role.
Kaleb Harrison, baseball player from Neola, said he didn’t think there would be a second Black Panther movie.
“Another actor wouldn’t be able to fulfill the role that he did,” he said. This is a take that some people may believe is the right thing to do regarding his death.
Others may believe that another movie will honor what Boseman had done for Marvel. Josh Ylonen, sophomore baseball player from Ames, said there’s a different path that Marvel could take.
“The next movie will show more of what happened during the Black Panther’s childhood, rather than continuing where it left off,” said Ylonen.
All in all, Chadwick Boseman’s legacy will be unforgettable and will continue to inspire future generations of actors and viewers alike.
This image was originally posted to Flickr by Gage Skidmore at https://flickr.com/photos/22007612@N05/28017825484. It was reviewed on 13 February 2017 by FlickreviewR and was confirmed to be licensed under the terms of the cc-by-sa-2