More Than An Actor: Reflecting on Boseman’s Life

We lost Chadwick Boseman, lead actor of Black Panther, on August 28, 2020. It’s hard enough to lose a well-loved actor who starred in such a game-changing movie of our time, but we also lost a powerful voice in the fight for freedom and equality.

Boseman has been fighting colon cancer for 4 years prior to his death. The famous movie Black Panther was released in 2018, meaning that all of Boseman’s recording sessions, training, and all the other intricacies involved needed to be completed alongside caring for his own health. According to his fellow actors on set, such as Ulysess Klaue (Serkis), he didn’t let any weakness show during the recording. “It was a night shoot and the very, very first take he kneed me so hard in the chest, ’cause he couldn’t really see with his mask on,” Serkis recalled. “I felt like he had broken my ribs in that very first take.”

But Boseman didn’t only dedicate his talents to Black Panther. He also held major roles in Marshall, Da 5 Bloods, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and several more. All of these had to be done between surgeries and chemotherapy.

Boseman’s entry into the world of film began as a statement. Born in South Carolina, he first fell in love with basketball and was a very successful player. He was being recruited to a college basketball team when one of his teammates was killed in a shooting. In response, Boseman penned a play entitled Crossroads and staged it at his school in memoriam. The world of theatre called to him, and he entered college to study to be a director instead. He studied at Howard University and took acting classes on the side, remaining a hard worker all the while.

So, not only was he an artist, but he was an immensely talented man who used his talents in a way that made an impact on the community around him and the world as a whole.

He was also a deeply religious man who was once a part of his church choir and stayed true to his faith even when he reached fame, as reported by his former pastor. He worked with the youth group for a time and was always eager to help his local church.

Lastly, Boseman was always regarded as a wise and kind personality throughout his life. Here are a few quotes from him to remember as you move forward:

“Fearlessness means taking the first step, even if you don’t know where it will take you. It means being driven by a higher purpose, rather than by applause. It means knowing that you reveal your character when you stand apart, more than when you stand with the crowd.”

“You have to cherish things in a different way when you know the clock is ticking, you are under pressure.”

“You might have one thing in your head, but the things you’re doing don’t really lead down the right road, necessarily. When you’re young, you don’t want to hear that. You think you can do everything, be all things.”

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