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Remembering Chadwick Boseman; A Hero beyond the films

He was one of the brightest lights shining in Hollywood. A young man that somehow carried a strong sense of humility while at the same time moved and spoke with a natural swag that gave him an undeniable presence.

The unexpected passing of Chadwick Boseman caught nearly everyone by surprise. Only a few fans who paid attention to the famous actor's recent weight loss knew something may be wrong. Now as the memorials and testimonials pour in, we now know that Chad Boseman did more than just PLAY superheroes and global icons, he was actually one himself. He worked for years while battling an aggressive form of colon cancer that eventually took his life, but not before he got the work done, not before he advocated for other cancer victims. Not before he rallied for young people to vote and make a difference in this country. We're talking about a rare talent, an advocate for the underdog, and a true hero, Chadwick Boseman.

Audiences and fellow Hollywood stars alike and fell in love with Chadwick because of his enormous talent and humbling presence. skyrocketed to the of the elite roster of Hollywood actors in 8 years; something most could not do in a lifetime of work. They say the great ones die young and I don't always believe that but there is something to be said about his passing. It seems like the direction and trajectory of is rise was nothing short of phenomenal. The loss was equally devastating.

JAMES BROWN: The old adage said “only James Brown can portray James Brown” and many actors would have backed away from that challenge because of the responsibility that comes with portraying a legend. Not only did Chadwick play James Brown to the T, but he gave fans of the late R&B soul singing legend a screenplay homage to be proud of. Somehow Chadwick was able to embody the moves, attitudes, style, and passions of James Brown.

Jackie Robinson: Playing Black icons became a staple of Boseman's career taking on the likenesses of Civil rights attorney, Thurgood Marshall as well as the great Jackie Robinson who suffered tremendous prejudice and racism as the first black pro MLB player. Robinson too was a tremendously gifted athlete, starring in football, track, and baseball. Boseman nailed it with a commitment to the character that allowed us to see and feel his pain and frustration as well as his triumphs.

Below is the moving tribute to Chadwick Boseman from his fellow Avengers/Black Panther cast members.via Marvel

Then his performance played a key role in Captain America: Civil War, before the Black Panther film release, gave moviegoers an electrifying showcase of what Black Panther could do in an action scene and in an emotional scene; both were riveting. As expected, when Black Panther was released during Black History month in 2018, it was an immediate global sensation, racing to over a billion dollars as one of the top-grossing films of all time. Chadwick Boseman led the enormously gifted, star-studded cast with great acclaim from fans and critics alike. Boseman's kingly poise, athleticism, grace, and style were impossible to ignore. This portrayal of the T’ Chala, King of Wakanda, sparked a level of excitement for superhero fans that we have never seen before and gave young black fans a character that represented what they needed most in a superhero. Black Panther went on to win a long list of awards, as well as being the first superhero film to win Academy Awards.

Let's rewind a bit to the days when an unknown Chadwick Boseman was a student at Howard University under the tutelage of Felicia Rashad, a pioneering actress in her own right. It was Felicia that spotted his talent and pushed for Chadwick to move on to Oxford for a special acting semester. Later bringing in Denzel Washington and encouraging him to financially support this effort to bring this new talent opportunity and life changing experience. Denzel and Felicia Rashad paid it forward to someone who went on to make an undeniable impact. This passing of the baton is something that's essential for all people, but in particular black people in Hollywood so that potential is reached through equal opportunity, support, and access.

Chadwick Boseman leaves a legacy that will connect with audiences for decades to come because he evolved from just another actor to becoming the real-life hero he portrayed in the movies.

By TC Lesesne & Cameron Lesesne


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