Chadwick Boseman passed away today from colon cancer at age 43. News of his passing broke on social media when his Twitter and Instagram accounts released a statement on his death.
— Chadwick Boseman (@chadwickboseman) August 29, 2020
“Chadwick was diagnosed with stage three colon cancer in 2016, and battled with it these last four years as it progressed to stage four,” it said, adding, “A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you so many of the films you have come to love so much. From ‘Marshall’ to ‘Da 5 Bloods,’ August Wilson’s ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’ and several more, all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapies.”
“It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in ‘Black Panther.’”
Boseman’s death is a devastating loss to many. It’s especially painful learning that he was silently suffering from one of the most aggressive forms of cancer while bringing to life some of the most culturally significant roles of the 2010s. Knowing this recontextualizes his past performance, as well as his last one—“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” finished filming two weeks ago. He played as King T’Challa, the first African superhero in mainstream American comics, played as Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Supreme Court Justice, all while being sick.
It also recontextualizes the memes and jokes that were made at his expense when he was promoting his films, with people calling out his physical appearance and theorizing why.
I keep thinking of the meme image where he’s doing the wakanda salute on a red carpet but looks like he’s exhausted and there were whole thinkpieces about how he was annoyed by his fans
— Jenny Nicholson (@JennyENicholson) August 29, 2020
Many have paid tribute to Boseman on social media.
This is a crushing blow.
— Jordan Peele (@JordanPeele) August 29, 2020
Eternally in power
— Barry Jenkins (@BarryJenkins) August 29, 2020
— Don Cheadle (@DonCheadle) August 29, 2020
Anyone who has ever seen what cancer does to someone up close knows how debilitating & painful the disease is.
Chadwick still showed up to press runs, movie sets, screening events, fan visits, and award ceremonies in the midst of battling cancer.
Resilient isn’t even the word.
— Gia Peppers (@GiaPeppers) August 29, 2020
— Brie Larson (@brielarson) August 29, 2020
He really took every iconic black role while fighting cancer. What a warrior.
— Kazeem Famuyide 🍎 (@Kazeem) August 29, 2020
learning that someone had the wherewithal to be that sick and that good at the same time is such an awful, world-reshaping revelation https://t.co/AdZli2rcJD
— devon of nine (@dynamofire) August 29, 2020
Every death is a loss, but the thing that keeps hitting me with Chadwick is how obvious it seemed that he was going to become one of the absolute great actors of his generation. Just unbelievable screen presence, so much talent that he was constantly working on, sharpening.
— austin walker (@austin_walker) August 29, 2020
I’ll be turning on “Black Panther” and “Da 5 Bloods” tonight. Wakanda forever.
Featured photo screengrabbed from the “Black Panther” trailer
How to Prepare for the ‘Black Panther’ Movie
Michael B. Jordan thinks Zendaya looks better in his suit
Letitia Wright is 2018’s box office queen
Theory roundup: The ladies of ‘Avengers: Endgame’ are the future