R.I.P. Chadwick Boseman


Chadwick Aaron Boseman (November 29, 1976 – August 28, 2020) was an American actor known for his portrayals of real-life historical figures such as Jackie Robinson in 42 (2013), James Brown in Get on Up (2014) and Thurgood Marshall in Marshall (2017), and for his portrayal of the superhero Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films including the title role in Black Panther (2018). He also appeared in films such as 21 Bridges (2019) and Da 5 Bloods (2020). He died at age 43 following a four-year battle with colon cancer.


Boseman was born and raised in Anderson, South Carolina, to Carolyn  and Leroy Boseman, both African American.  According to Boseman, DNA testing has indicated that his ancestors were Mende people from Sierra Leone, Yoruba people from Nigeria and Limba people from Sierra Leone.  His mother was a nurse and his father worked at a textile factory, managing an upholstery business as well.  Boseman graduated from T. L. Hanna High School in 1995.  In his junior year, he wrote his first play, Crossroads, and staged it at the school after a classmate was shot and killed.


Boseman attended college at Howard University in Washington, D.C., graduating in 2000 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in directing.  One of his teachers was Phylicia Rashad, who became a mentor.  She helped raise funds so that Boseman and some classmates could attend the Oxford Mid-Summer Program of the British American Drama Academy in London, to which they had been accepted.


Boseman died at his home in the Los Angeles area with his wife and family by his side, his publicist Nicki Fioravante told The Associated Press.


Boseman was diagnosed with colon cancer four years ago, his family said in a statement.


“A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much,” his family said. “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. It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther.”


Even at the outset of his Hollywood career, Boseman was clear-eyed about — and even skeptical of — the industry in which he would become an international star.


“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 evidand true,” he told AP while promoting “42.” “The best way to put it is: How often do you see a movie about a black hero who has a love story — with a black woman, or any woman for that matter … he has a spirituality. He has an intellect. It’s weird to say it, but it doesn’t happen that often.”


Credit: ILoveBeingBlack


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