He was not perfect, he was human, but he was everything we should aspire to be. Chadwick Boseman's passing was a loss felt around the world, I don't believe it was because he was Black Panther, but because he was Chadwick Boseman.
Yes, I admit, when I saw Black Panther, there was an image, a story I saw that had me excited about seeing the first major black superhero film (2018). But there was also a lot more, there was an example of black excellence on the screen. An image of a Black King, that was elevated, progressive and honorable, a contrast from images I was use to seeing. As write this post, I ask myself, was it only the movie and his role that was exciting, or was it the actor, the man playing the role that drew so much attention?
I was not surprised to learn that Chadwick was instrumental in not only how his character was portrayed, but that he helped with major decisions on imagery, to story lines and the heart of the film that portrays black people and culture phenomenally strong. Chadwick was responsible for one of he most memorable lines in the film spoken by Killmonger, - "Bury me in the ocean, with my ancestors that jumped from the ships, because they knew death was better than bondage". His contribution to the film was not only his acting abilities, but his soul, his character and his heart.
As the world learned the cause of Chadwick's death, we also learned that he continued to work, he focused on movies he was passionate about, movies that would inspire his family, friends and fans. Knowing who Chadwick was, we should not be surprised that some of his most admirable actions were how he gave back, how he paid it forward. He spent time with children that were suffering from the very same disease that would take him away from this world, but he still visited, he gave them hope, and he gave them love.
Though he was a great actor, he brought Black Panther to life, showing millions of kids and adults that they too can dream, that they can be great, it was who he was as a person that people could feel. It was his love of life, his love of people, his intent to leave behind a legacy of black excellence, of human progression and unity that we won’t forget. It is Chadwick Boseman the man, his lovable soul that is no longer physically here that people feel they've lost, and that hurts.
“May he Rest In Power, and may we invoke his spirit as an Ancestor, for the world can use more of Chadwick" - We Shall Progress