Remembering Chadwick Boseman

By Richard Sevilla
National News Staff Writer

Boseman at the 2018 Oscars (Photo courtesy of Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

When his family tweeted on the night of August 28th, 2020, they had revealed that Chadwick Boseman’s private struggle with Stage IV Colon cancer came to a peaceful end. This tweet would go on to become the most-liked tweet on Twitter, with 7.7 million people liking since the tweet’s inception. Considering the contemporary times and the entire societal matrix of 2020, Boseman brought out something deep within the population, something that would continue to ignite the hearts of those who continually face the evils of racial discrimination. While the Hollywood industry lost a prolific and talented actor, the world suffered a greater loss in a portrayer and advocate of breaking systemic, racial injustices.

Throughout his entire struggle with cancer that started in 2016, Boseman graced us with his hard work and dedication to continue production of Marshall, Da 5 Bloods, and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. There existed an utter resolve to continue doing what he loved and being the source of inspiration to the world, especially to communities of color. Boseman’s decorated filmography reveals a deep devotion to societal liberation from racism, with his first major breakthrough as an actor in 42, the story of legend Jackie Robinson becoming the first black athlete to play in the MLB. From there, he would go on to play prominent roles focused on African Americans and their representation in culture, such as singer James Brown in Get on Up, first African American Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall in Marshall, and the Egyptian god Thoth in Gods of Egypt. Boseman had connected with critics of the latter film who condemned the use of a predominantly white cast; this became his primary motivation in staying with the film.

All these preceding roles would culminate in his apex role of T’Challa, better known as the Black Panther. In portraying Stan Lee’s first black superhero (first created in 1966), Boseman played an integral part of a larger message being displayed about exposing the racial injustices in Hollywood and in culture. This movie would go on to become a paramount film that features not only a predominantly black cast but also a predominantly black behind the scenes cast that ranged from the writers all the way up to the director. Boseman said it best himself during a commencement speech at Howard University: “When I dared to challenge the systems that would relegate us to victims and stereotypes with no clear historical backgrounds, no hopes or talents, when I questioned that method of portrayal, a different path opened up for me, the path to my destiny.”

Chadwick Boseman will forever represent an illuminating figure of Hollywood and of African American representation. The obstacles he endured throughout his life to depicting his culture and heritage powerfully resonate today during a time of political discourse and uncertainty, and he will forever remain an inspiration to upcoming artists, actors, and people all around the globe. Wakanda forever.


Contact Richard at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest