Death of a King: Chadwick Boseman

Caroline Hussey 
chussey@lc.edu

Chadwick Boseman, 43, known for roles in movies such as “Black Panther”, “Marshall”, “42”, “Thurgood” and “21 Bridges”, passed away in his home among family on Aug 28, 2020, after a long four year battle with colon cancer. 

“It is with immeasurable grief that we confirm the passing of Chadwick Boseman,” reads a statement on Boseman’s official Instagram, “Chadwick was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016, and battled with it these last 4 years as it progressed to stage IV.” 

Boseman fought through the difficulty of cancer, all while giving the public several feature films. “From ‘Marshall’ to ‘Da 5 Bloods’, August Wilson’s ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’ and several more — all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy,” said Boseman’s family in an official statement. 

What seems to be his best-known role, portraying King T’Challa, was a proud memory of Boseman’s. “It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther,” says Boseman’s family. 

Apart from family, friends, co-workers and fans have been all over social media, posting tributes and pictures of Boseman, including several co-stars writing emotional goodbyes. As of Sept. 15, the official statement of Boseman’s death has over 18 million posts and over 660,000 comments, most dictating how they will miss the actor. 

Grieving co-stars who have reached out saying their goodbyes include cast members from “21 Bridges”, “Da 5 Bloods” and “Black Panther”. Lupita Nyong’o, Boseman’s co-star who plays Nakia in “Black Panther”, released a heartfelt post dedicated to Boseman on her social media. 

“He showed up to every rehearsal and training and shoot day with his game face on. He was absorbent. Agile. He set the bar high by working with a generosity of spirit, creating an ego-free environment by sheer example, and he always had a warm gaze and a strong embrace to share. When I was around Chadwick, I wanted to be better, less petty, more purposeful… He was fueled by love, not fear,” stated Nyong’o in her post. “He moved quietly, deliberately, and without imposing himself or his ideals on others. And yet he also made damn sure that his life meant something. He cared so deeply about humanity, about Black people, about his people. He activated our pride. By pushing through and working with such high purpose in the films he chose to commit to, Chadwick has made the infinite his home.” 

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