Chadwick Boseman’s shocking death is one that has hit black people all over the world extremely hard, Marvel fans and beyond. This year seems like a year filled with black grief, from the death of Kobe Bryant to the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and now Chadwick Boseman.
In 2018, Chadwick Boseman played the iconic role of Black Panther, which personally revolutionized how I viewed myself as a black person. Everyone knows of Wakanda and the Black Panther, even those that aren't familiar with Marvel movies, comics, or any other of Chadwick Boseman's work.
The release of Black Panther and Chadwick's portrayal of T’Challa, a black king of a prosperous African nation, is something that I feel changed the way people around me viewed me and my African heritage. It has definitely changed my view of myself and my heritage. It was the first time I had seen such a powerful depiction of black strength, defying expected tropes and stereotypes.
It was the first mainstream depiction of wealth and purpose of black characters. It invoked feelings of pride and hope in black people across all ages and it reinforced the affirmation that I am black and I am more than capable of achieving anything. It seems like a lot to place on a movie based on comic books, but Black Panther was a culture reset for black people everywhere.
With the rest of Chadwick’s portfolio centered on his portrayal of other powerful black men, he leaves behind a legacy of black magnificence and excellence. Through his career, Chadwick Boseman presented a unifying greeting for the black community, creating a bond that he was continually pleased to showcase.
When he was alive, fan pictures where Chadwick would have his arms up in the Wakanda forever stance were continuously mocked, but in various interviews, he still expressed his joy to do that with his fans, especially his black fans. Although he is gone far too soon, the legacy he has left behind will have a lasting impact on the new generation of black kings and queens.