The death of Chadwick Boseman was confirmed on August 28, after his 4 year long battle with colon cancer.
The loss of the beloved actor has been felt across the globe, with fans and celebrities expressing their love and gratitude to the late actor.
The actor was best known for his portrayal as T’Challa in Marvel’s Oscar-nominated film ‘Black Panther’, a character Boseman portrayed in other Marvel films.
In a public statement, Boseman’s family commented that: “It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther”.
— Chadwick Boseman (@chadwickboseman) August 29, 2020
The film has since become iconic due to it’s representation of BIPOC in both America and all of Africa and helped rehshape the conversation of non-white representation in Hollywood.
Throughout the film’s production, Boseman helped ensure that African cultures weren’t perceived through a colonial lens, most notably when he insisted on his character having a Xhosa accent.
At the time he told Hollywood Reporter that: “They felt that it was maybe too much for an audience to take. I felt the exact opposite — like, if I speak with a British accent, what’s gonna happen when I go home? It felt to me like a deal-breaker.”
Black Panther has become one of the highest grossing films of all time, grossing over $1 billion in 2018. It has also been nominated for many awards and won the SAG Awards’ top prize in 2019.
Boseman’s acceptance speech at the SAG Awards on the film’s behalf became one of the most impactful award acceptance speeches for its commentary on the importance of the film.
Boseman was also an avid advocate of the Black Lives Matter movement and for racial equality in the United States, where the African-American actors have experienced systematic discrimination.
Whilst promoting his film ‘42’ in 2014, he told AP that: “You don’t have the same exact experience as a black actor as you do as a white actor. You don’t have the same opportunities. That’s evident and true.”
Throughout his career, he continued to be an outspoken voice empowering the BIPOC community and demanding racial justice. He became a prominent figure during the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests, fighting for the justice of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other innocent BIPOC killed by police brutality.
Chadwick Boseman will be remembered as a role model for many BIPOC who connected to him through their shared identity and as a superhero fighting for racial equality.
His role of helping pave the way for greater representation and racial justice in Hollywood will define his legacy.