Jags Salute the Black Panther

Picture it; it’s February 2018 and we are gearing up to watch “Black Panther” in theaters. We may not have realized it two years ago, but Chadwick Boseman as well as the rest of the movie cast gave a great love and appreciation back to the black community. This was especially important due to the racial climate and injustices happening to African Americans in the U.S.

Even though his career was cut short, Boseman also played other prolific roles in Hollywood such as Thurgood Marshall in “Marshall” (2017), Jackie Robinson in “42” (2013), and James Brown in “Get on Up” (2014). He also played his famous superhero character, Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War (2016), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), and Avengers: Endgame (2019).

Chadwick Boseman was born on November 29, 1976. He was born and raised in the great state of South Carolina. After studying directing at Howard University, he chose to pursue an acting career at the British American Drama Academy. While on this journey he crossed paths with legendary actors like Denzel Washington and Angela Basset. Basset would later star alongside Boseman in Black Panther in years to come.

In addition to a very successful film career, he had a great television career as well. He starred in the popular ABC Family (now Freeform) show Lincoln Heights. He also starred in Person Unknown on NBC, and around the time of the release of Black Panther, he guest-starred and hosted Saturday Night Live.

Even though he had acquired a major buzz among audiences and in the media, he made sure to dedicate his life to being kind and giving back to his community. He was a very strong believer in one’s purpose. One of his well-known quotes is “Whatever you choose for a career path, remember the struggles along the way are only meant to shape you for your purpose.” With his kindness, he made it possible for two terminally ill children to watch Black Panther before its initial release date.

Unfortunately, this would foreshadow the sad truth that we must face. In the late-night hours of Friday, August 28th media and millions of people got word that Chadwick Boseman passed away after a brave battle with colon cancer. The public was shocked because he never expressed that he was battling the sickness.

According to various news outlets, he reportedly fought the disease for four years. This means that during the filming of Black Panther he had been secretly battling cancer. Imagine trying to instill a sense of pride and self-love in young black children and adults while living with a terminal illness! In a time when being black is weaponized and seen as unattractive or unworthy Chadwick Boseman played a superhero while making us feel like superheroes as well.

An unmeasurable amount of parents posted tributes of their children in Black Panther costumes and with their action figures in memory of the phenomenal actor. The Black Panther cast and crew also took to social media to post heartfelt tributes and memories. Not only did he play the king of Wakanda, but he was truly a king in real life. Chadwick Boseman transcended to the ancestral plane at forty-three years old.

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