Like many of you, I woke up today to the sad news about the passing away of Chadwick Boseman. He had been fighting colon cancer since 2016 when he got diagnosed. His true-life strength as a superhero was seen as he continued to act and release blockbuster movies, at a time that he was going through multiple surgeries and chemotherapy. At the time of writing, some of his projects have not even been released yet [see: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (film) and also What If…? (TV series)]. We still have some Chadwick Boseman 2020 movies/ shows that are still coming up. Here where I live, we still haven’t watched his 2020 movie Da 5 Bloods, and therefore consider it yet another upcoming entry (at least locally).
The renowned 43-year-old Hollywood superstar inspired an era through his portrayal of Marvel-owned, African comic book hero: T’Challa – The Black Panther. As an African who lives in Africa, I noticed that before Blank Panther was released, the most iconic and memorable Hollywood movie(s) of Africa (that I could think of) were creations like Blood Diamond and Hotel Rwanda. These movies (especially Blood Diamond) held true to the age-old notion of Africa being a utopia of vast wealth and natural resources. One being cast into a bottomless pit of inexplicably funded conflicts, corruption of power, and social chaos. Unlike the Hollywood blockbusters I grew up with, Black Panther painted a brighter image where Africa is seen as an equal, valuable partner. For those of you that might have fading memories of Hotel Rwanda, here is a refresher trailer of the 2004 true-story movie.
Black Panther was different. It came with a message of pride, hope, and strength… and Chadwick Boseman’s portrayal of King T’Challa was embraced all over the world. Not just here in Africa. It was refreshing to see a shift in Hollywood’s narration on the motherland. As time goes by… my one dream is that; in the future, such high budget cultural pieces should be funded and created within Africa. We owe Chadwick Boseman, Marvel Studios, and the entire crew, writers, and actors behind Black Panther a world of gratitude in allowing Africa to shine and dream. Africa has lost a true superhero. I shall remember Chadwick Boseman as I hope to watch his upcoming 2020 movies, and previously mentioned shows like What if…?
The late Chadwick Boseman’s career did not begin and end with Blank Panther, he gave this world so much to remember him by. A life gone too soon. Unfortunately, it took his death for me to know about him and realise that he was also well-known for his portrayals of real-life historical figures, such as Jackie Robinson in 42 (2013), James Brown in Get on Up (2014), and Thurgood Marshall in Marshall (2017). Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family. I will conclude by giving you a link to the official Twitter announcement some of us woke up to today: (The inspiration he gave us, will live on!). If this is your first time on this blog, thank you so much for coming! I have a video and an article here about a Zimbabwean hero you might enjoy.