By Mah Noor, September 8 2020 —
On August 28, Chadwick Boseman passed away due to colon cancer at the age of 43. Boseman had been struggling with this illness in secret for four years while continuing on as if nothing had changed. He kept this secret so well, in fact, that even his coworkers did not know what he was going through while he continued his work as an actor. Not many people knew of his diagnosis as he kept it a secret from almost everyone outside of his family. Only after his death did his family reveal what Boseman had been going through over the past few years.
Boseman was born an only child and was encouraged by his parents to pursue his strong passion for acting. He started out by appearing in TV shows for small roles before progressing to acting in films. After a number of years, he eventually found fame in his role as Jackie Robinson in the movie 42. He also starred in the movies Get on Up and Gods of Egypt before he was cast for the role of T’Challa in the movie Captain America: Civil War, a character that got their own movie a few years later in 2018.
Today, Boseman is arguably most well known for his role as T’Challa in Black Panther, a movie that was groundbreaking in that it featured a predominantly Black cast. At the time this movie was being produced, Boseman had already been diagnosed, but had not let the cancer take over his life and instead found the strength to continue doing what he loved. Black Panther was an amazing film in part due to Boseman’s extraordinary acting. He portrayed the character of T’Challa expressfully and with a familiarity that made him fit into the role perfectly. The film resonated with many people of colour, as they saw themselves and parts of their cultures portrayed in a way that was rarely featured in such a major film. In playing T’Challa, Boseman helped produce a film that redefined what a superhero could be as he played the first Black Marvel superhero. This film allowed many Marvel fans to finally see themselves in a role that had previously been vacant of the representation that they had craved for so long. Even though Boseman has passed, the impact he has left behind will continue to carry on his legacy as the film industry continues to expand, and representation finds its way into more major films.