Updated: Sep 1, 2020
Chadwick was more than just an actor, and those who knew him the best, are reminding the world why.
Image credit Twitter.com/Chadwickboseman
“After his family released their statement, I realized that he was living with his illness the entire time I knew him. Because he was a caretaker, a leader, and a man of faith, dignity and pride, he shielded his collaborators from his suffering He lived a beautiful life. And he made great art. Day after day, year after year. That was who he was. He was an epic firework display. I will tell stories about being there for some of the brilliant sparks till the end of my days."-Ryan Coogler, Filmaker of the Ocsar Nominated 'Black Panther'.
Mr. Coogler wrote a brilliant tribute to a man who's life was cut too short, and the legacy he had left us, was truly a gift. I am, as well as you reading this blog, are probably having a hard time saying that one word...was. I have a hard time with the reality that we all lost a great man.
Chadwick Boseman passed away on August 28th in his home, surrounded by his wife and his family at his side. 43 short years he was on this planet, but my God, did he fully LIVE those 43 years.
He graced his talents on the big screen in various films, which, in my opinion, he captured you immediately in the role he played. '42', 'Get On Up', '21 Bridges', 'Captain America: Civil War', 'Avengers: Infinity War', and of course the HUGE blockbuster playing the lead as a Superhero, 'Black Panther', Boseman's essence and pose on the screen showcased his talents. Those are my favorites that I could watch over and over, but it looks like I will be adding the rest of his films to list.
Shocked, stunned, numb. How long will these feelings stay with me?
I saw so many posts. Emotional. I lost count after 50 (and those were the ones I read), countless amount of his images, on social media pages of friends, colleagues, millions of fans that expressed their appreciation for Boseman. The more I read them, the more I noticed that he was more than just an actor. He was fighting for his life with his diagnosis of colon cancer in 2016, and those who were close to him in his private life, were the only ones who knew. He continued to work his craft in various movie projects, and contributed to many causes, including St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Yes, the man who was battling a disease himself, was putting himself first for these children who were going through their own fight. He spoke to graduates at Howard University, his alma mater (which I highly recommend search this speech & watch). Of all the posts that I did read, Ryan Coogler's was just powerful. Here's another part of his tribute to Boseman:
“In African cultures, we often refer to loved ones that have passed on as ancestors...But it is with a heavy heart and a sense of deep gratitude to have ever been in his presence, that I have to reckon with the fact that Chad is an ancestor now. And I know that he will watch over us, until we meet again.”
My Heard Take:
"In times of crisis, the wise build bridges while the foolish build barriers"-T'Challah
I never met Chadwick, but felt like I knew him through his works in film, and in the community. The big takeaway from his legacy for me will be that during the four years of chemo and surgeries, he kept serving . He kept working on projects. He kept being involved in things that mattered to him. Overall, HE. DID. NOT. QUIT. IN. THE. FACE. OF. ADVERSITY! That right there gives me pause. Gives me motivation. There's more to do to help others, to get involve in causes that matter. There are dreams of mine that I want to become reality, and what he went through, was not made public. I'm sure that he did not want pity or people to be sad for him, he want to live, and live live to it's absolute fullest as long as he had breath in his body.
I commit to that. I hope you as you read this blog piece, will look at your place now in the world, and do something to make an positive impact while you are here. So, thank you Chadwick. You are and always be a light in this world that will never go dim. Rest in power.