Students remember, pay tribute to inspiring ‘Black Panther’ actor Chadwick Boseman

Courtesy of Shutterstock | Chadwick Boseman accepts an award at the 50th NAACP Image Awards.

Chadwick Boseman, an American actor known for his portrayal of Jackie Robinson in the movie “42” (2013), James Brown in “Get on Up” (2014) and Black Panther in “Black Panther” (2018), died from colon cancer Aug. 29 at age 43.

Participating in theater in high school, Boseman attended Howard University in Washington D.C. to further his training and graduated with a bachelor of fine arts in directing in 2000.

Boseman performed in several stage productions before he landed his first significant role in the movie “42,” portraying Jackie Robinson. 

“42” was an iconic movie for Boseman, who helped show the struggle that Jackie Robinson went through as one the first African Americans in Major League Baseball.

His next major role was as the lead character in the film “Get on Up” about the legendary singer James Brown. 

He would then go on to portray T’Challa (Black Panther) in “Avengers: Civil War” and the “Black Panther” series.

Boseman was first diagnosed with colon cancer in 2016, the same year he appeared in Marvel’s “Avengers: Civil War”. The public did not know he was also battling cancer.

When the news broke that Boseman died from cancer it took fans by surprise. Kevin Holloway, freshman psychology major and Boseman fan ,said he was shocked..

“I never would have expected he was sick from the way he talked and acted,” Holloway said. “He showed how strong he was to battle cancer while still following his goals and do everything he could to help build the Black community. It shows that someone can be that strong and hide what they are doing to help raise up everyone else.”

Boseman was not only a superhero on screen. He was also a superhero to many in real life. 

Former President Barack Obama sent a tweet when he heard the news of Boseman’s death about the time Boseman had visited the White House after starring in the movie “42”.

“Chadwick came to the White House to work with kids when he was playing Jackie Robinson. You could tell right away that he was blessed,” the former president said in his tweet. “To be young, gifted, and Black; to use that power to give them heroes to look up to; to do it all while in pain what a use of his years.”

As Hollywood mourns the death of Boseman, many fans are expecting actors to show more dedication in film. 

Jacob Mandujano, freshman business administration major, said Boseman’s juggle between producing, acting and battling cancer raises the bar for the other actors.

“Boseman was battling cancer for so long and still producing and acting in great movies,” Mandujano said. “It just raises the bar for a lot of actors.”

Before Boseman died he filmed and starred in “Da 5 Bloods” (2020), which fans can watch on Netflix and also starred in Ma Rainey’s “Black Bottom” (2020), before his death which will stream on
Netflix later this year.

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