“Death is not the end, it’s more of a stepping off point”
Today we awoke to the shocking and truly heartbreaking news that Chadwick Boseman had lost his life at the age of 43.
He was diagnosed with advanced Colon cancer in 2016, and despite battling it hard with numerous surgeries and chemotherapy, he managed to keep the news quiet and make a remarkable amount of important movies.
After his diagnosis, he was able to make films including: Marshall, Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, 21 Bridges, Da 5 Bloods, and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. To get in the physical condition, perform stunts, give yourself fully to performances, do the press tours and much more, all the time while being so ill and fighting so hard for your own health is remarkable.
He made a career pre-Marvel with stunning performances in biopics as the likes of James Brown in ‘Get On Up’ and Jackie Robinson in ‘42’, before making his MCU debut as Black Panther and changing the world.
2018s ‘Black Panther’ is one of the most influential movies of all time, providing an inspirational and relatable hero for millions of young black children (and honestly, millions of people in general, whatever your background) who until then had mainly only seen white heroes on the screen. Chadwick Boseman understood better than anybody the importance of the film succeeding and was open about his pride at the impact of the character on his people and society in general.
With the passion and commitment he left out there on screen, it is almost unfathomable to think he was so ill at the same time. Recently photos had leaked where he looked thin and people made jokes and speculated about him, which I wish had never happened as he clearly respected his privacy, but he managed to essentially keep this battle to himself throughout all of it. A man of true dignity.
I lost a close family member to cancer, who even younger than Chadwick was, so I totally understand the devastation and shock of losing someone so young. It is a evil disease and the strength he showed to fight it so long is an example to us all.
Despite the very different circumstances, I can’t help but also think of Heath Ledger. Boseman and Ledger are truly two of the most talented actors of the 21st Century, and while it is the human loss that is most deeply heartbreaking, it is also devastating to think of the further incredible art they could have created and yet will never be able to. However, they managed to do so much good in the short time they were with us, and we must carry on that legacy.
He died on August 28th. Jackie Robinson Day, the anniversary of Dr King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, and the birthday of Jack Kirby, the creator of Black Panther.
Chadwick Boseman. 43 Years Old. Rest in Power and in Peace.