Saturday, August 29, 2020

Chadwick Boseman - A Real Life Hero

I was watching Captain America: Civil War, the first appearance of Black Panther, when my best friend texted me: “Did you hear about Chadwick Boseman.” I just about had a heart attack and googled him immediately.

I’m not going to write too much here. Understand, it’s not because he doesn’t deserve beautiful tributes from all over the world, it’s because I’m heartbroken.

The shock I felt at hearing that he’d been struggling with colon cancer was extreme. In the past four years, Boseman went through the production process of several films – the majority of them action. I had no clue he was doing it while fighting through chemo and surgeries. I can’t imagine how physically difficult that much have been for him. Still, he did it.

Acting must have been something he loved very much.

He made his mark. He was only here for 43 years, but Boseman made himself a powerhouse in that time. Even if I ignore the rest of his films, his portrayal of Black Panther alone is something that will be shaping the cinematic landscape for years to come.

Some people turn up their noses at the superhero films, but I will always believe they’re wrong. Superheroes come to the forefront of pop culture when times are bad. When there’s excess violence and uncertainty in the world. When justice seems to be unattainable. We need our fictional heroes in order to inspire real ones.

And, where heroes are concerned, Black Panther (2018) was a thing of beauty. It was a blockbuster film that allowed black children to see themselves on screen. While there is so much racial tension in the world, that’s so incredibly important.

Here was this black-led, black-acted film that just exploded onto the screen. It was an amazing film that celebrated a culture behind the fiction. And there, standing as tall as any other protagonist in the MCU, was Chadwick Boseman. He brought a poise and a power to Black Panther that is impossible to forget. More importantly, he made it all impossible to ignore.

Chadwick Boseman is an icon. He fought all his life to do what he loved, and in the end his work helped allow others to dream.

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