‘Black Panther’ actor, Chadwick Boseman Dies at 43

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Chadwick Boseman died on August 28, 2020, after a four year battle with colon cancer. Boseman battled the disease since his diagnosis in 2016 and had undergone chemotherapy and surgeries. Tragically, it progressed to the end-stage despite treatments. 

Boseman was known most notably in recent years for his role as King T’Challa in Marvel’s “Black Panther.” The character also made appearances in three Avengers films, “Civil War,” “Infinity War” and “Endgame.”

Many of Boseman’s films, such as “Marshall,” in which the actor played the first Black Supreme Court Justice, Thurgood Marshall, and “Da 5 Bloods,” the latest Spike Lee film, were filmed while the star was undergoing treatment.

Prior to his rise to fame from the Black Panther and MArvel Cinematic Universe franchises, Boseman gained fame from portraying some of America’s  greatest Black  icons, such as Jackie Robinson, the first African-American baseball player, and “Godfather of Soul,” musician James Brown.

A statement from his publicist, on playing one of film’s first Black superhero leads, said “it was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther.”

The character originally created by comic book legends Stan Lee & Jack Kirby in issue 52 of “The Fantastic Four” was, at the time, the only comic book superhero of African descent, being the king of a fictional African country named Wakanda.

The film adaptation, released in 2018 stands firm as the tenth highest grossing film of all-time. It’s impact on film and American culture is felt long after its initial release.

“Black Panther is in many ways a love letter to black culture,” wrote Vox writer Tre Johnson, on the film adaptation’s cultural impact. “Africa has traditionally been an unsophisticated bit player in American media, often portrayed as backward, savage, and chaotic in everything from news coverage to films. It’s a portrayal that has left little room for other interpretations, which is why Black Panther’s vision of Wakanda as a bustling metropolis of vibranium-powered futuristic skyscrapers, racing trains, and soaring spaceships feels so refreshing.”

Boseman passed away at home, surrounded by his wife and family. The family asks for prayers at this time.

Jeri Hensley

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