The King Has Fallen


Courtesy of Gage Skidmore

Actor Chadwick Boseman, best known for his role as the Black Panther, died from colon cancer on August 28th.

It was unexpected how quickly people responded to the death of actor Chadwick Boseman with heartfelt comments and personal artwork on the internet. With the news that came out on August 28th, 2020, it was no surprise to see people from all over the world giving love and praise to the man who had played the Black Panther, who hid the fact he was fighting cancer for four years, and who had recently passed away.

Chadwick Boseman was only 43 years old, but, despite his young age, he accomplished so much in his life that would amaze and inspire others. Born and raised in South Carolina, he focused on writing and performing early on. In his junior year at T.L. Hannah High School, Boseman wrote his first play, titled Crossroads, and performed it at school in order to commemorate the death of a fellow classmate who had been shot. After high school, he attended Howard University, where he studied directing. Then he began his career with small-time roles and guest appearances in several TV productions.

He would go on to star in 42 and Black Panther, both movies that empowered and embraced the Black community. 42 is a biographical sports film that revolves around the Jackie Robinson story, and how Robinson made an impact being the first person of color in Major League Baseball. Black Panther, on the other hand, is a story set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that follows the story of King T’Challa and his fight to protect his people and nation.

What surprised people the most about his death was how sudden it was, even though it really wasn’t. Boseman had kept his colon cancer a secret, not wishing to advertise it or make it known to the public. When it came out after his death about what he was struggling with, plenty of co-stars and friends came out with their responses.

Filmer maker Ava DuVernay tweeted, “May you have a beautiful return, King. We will miss you so,” which accompanied a picture from Blank Panther where Boseman stood in the Wakandan ancestral plain in front of a large tree, with panthers perched on the branches.

Actor Chris Evans tweeted, “I’m absolutely devastated. This is beyond heartbreaking. Chadwick was special. A true original. He was a deeply committed and constantly curious artist. He had so much amazing work still left to create. I’m endlessly grateful for our friendship. Rest in power, King.”

Democratic vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris tweeted, “Heartbroken. My friend and fellow Bison Chadwick Boseman was brilliant, kind, learned, and humble. He left too early but his life made a difference. Sending my sincere condolences to his family.”

They weren’t the only ones who posted their mournings. Plenty of fans shared videos, artwork, personal messages and love for what Boseman did in his career. Many artists created stunning art pieces that respected and represented Boseman’s role as King T’Challa in Black Panther

He even had an impact on my life, as I saw him play such an important figure in Marvel history. I’ve always been a Marvel fan, reading comics, watching the TV shows and going to the movies ever since I was young. Superheroes always made me feel powerful and confident in myself, but then there was Black Panther: a man who not only defended his people and their unique culture, but also the ecosystem and environment surrounding them. The character represented strength, while also showing people to take responsibility for their duties, whether they wanted to have them or not. I’ll be honest, I was concerned at first who Marvel was going to pick to play this staggering figure in the MCU, but I was blown away by Boseman’s performance. He encompassed all of the traits that I knew Black Panther was all about, while also bringing his own flare to it.

Senior Leo Garrote still remembers the moment he found out about Boseman’s death. He had just woken up from a nap when he saw the sad news.

“My first reaction was like, ‘Ok, this is not a funny meme,’ but then I realized it wasn’t actually a meme.”

Then he looked into the story a little further.

“I felt very sad because not only he was a really good actor, he was also a really good person that fought against racism and other inequalities present in our society,” Garrote said. “It was very sad to me to think about his family and how they must’ve felt.”

Boseman’s funeral service will be held in his home town of Anderson, South Carolina. His hometown is also working hard to create a statue in his honor. The fact that so many people have come together in order to commemorate this man for his extensive hard work shows what a serious impact he made on many people’s lives.