Chadwick Aaron Boseman, who died Aug. 28 at 43, will be etched in history.
The actor, known for his portrayals of James Brown in “Get on up”, Jackie Robinson in “42” and for his iconic performance in “Black Panther,” showed children of color, as well as people of all walks of life, what it meant to be a superhero who looked like them on and off camera.
“Chadwick Boseman is as much a hero as any he played,” according to Harrison Ford in a statement for The Hollywood Reporter Chadwick Boseman.
The ESU community has expressed the same sadness and shock as people worldwide.
“Chadwick Boseman’s passing was unexpected,” said communications major and junior, Latisha Griffith. “As we mourn his death, we are learning much more of why he was a wholehearted and exceptional human being. He was a gifted individual, bestowing us with memories that we will pass on to future generations. Chadwick’s influence and legacy will never be forgotten. Long live the Black Panther.”
Students are feeling the impact of the passing of someone who not only inspired us, but gave Black people of all ages a true hero.
“He left a great legacy and will forever be remembered as one of the greats,” said psychology major and junior, Keyia Scotland.
Faculty members also acknowledge Boseman’s hand in breaking racial barriers within the film industry.
“The death of Chadwick Boseman sent shock waves throughout the Black community,” said Council of Trustees member, Tameko Patterson. “Every character he portrayed was that of a strong Black man. Off-screen, he exuded the same strong, but humble spirit. In his role as the Black Panther in 2018, he helped to instill a whole new sense of pride for the Black community, especially for young Black boys. My hope is that we never forget the work he did, during his very short time on earth, to bring us stories of Black men in a positive light. Wakanda forever!”
Boseman graduated from Howard University in Washington with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in directing and went on to attend the British American Drama Academy in Oxford, U.K., according to the Biography website.
He not only performed in several stage productions, but directed and wrote as well. He is known for having directed the short film “Blood Over a Broken Pawn,” and for having played roles in productions such as “Romeo and Juliet” and “Bootleg Blues.”
Boseman started making a name for himself in the 2000s, as he landed guest roles in television shows like “Third Watch” and “CSI: NY.”
His career took off in 2012 when he landed his first lead role in the movie “The Kill Hole.”
In 2016, Boseman was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer while he worked on films that emulated him, such as “Gods of Egypt,” his appearance in “Captain America: Civil War” and his unforgettable portrayal of King T’Challa in “Black Panther.”
Boseman created some of his most outstanding works while being chastised in the media for his changes in appearance. However, he managed to keep his life and medical treatment private, as he continued to help others, preserving the hero he was.
Lessons we should all take from Boseman’s legacy are to always fight for what’s right, fight on despite the adversities and live life like there is no tomorrow.
Many of us in the ESU community still feel the loss and wish his family and friends strength to get through this difficult time.
Rest well, Chadwick Boseman, The Black Panther.
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