By Krishna Menon
3rd September, 2020
Chadwick Boseman as the Black Panther
(Image source: Times of India)
On 28th August 2020, the world witnessed the loss of a young talented actor, Chadwick Boseman. He had been diagnosed with stage 3 Colon Cancer in 2016. In between chemotherapy cycles, Boseman worked relentlessly in shooting his movies. The deteriorating state of his health was kept away from the public eye and in recent times, Boseman's cancer progressed to a terminal stage. The ailing actor succumbed to the illness on Friday.
His humility, dedication and vision to represent his culture were few of the several legacies this gifted actor left behind. Boseman was known for his magnificent portrayal of his character as the prince of Wakanda, T’Challa, known as the Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Boseman's performance on screen was effortless, as he resonated greatly with his character in real life as well. He also received the Screen Actors Guild Award for this role. Boseman's natural performance turned him into a cultural legend to millions, especially those who belonged to non-white and underrepresented communities. While most people are familiar with his presence in the past few years, Chadwick had his big-screen breakthrough with his role in the 2013 film 42, portraying pioneering basketball legend Jackie Robinson. Apart from his work in the MCU, Boseman received significant recognition in his roles in biopics including both 42 and Get On Up. Apart from acting, he also avidly pursued his interest in the direction and even co-produced some of his films. He made his first appearance as the Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War. In 2018, he was the star of the standalone ‘Black Panther’ film of the MCU, that won commercial success as well as critical acclaim for its representation of African culture, while being predominantly directed and performed by African-Americans, including the director Ryan Coogler. The film grossed over a billion dollars and appealed favourably to both adults and children, as it promoted cultural and familial values alongside gripping action scenes. He had won a National Association for the Advancement Colored People's Image Award. His recent works include the thriller 21 Bridges, Spike Lee’s ‘Da 5 Bloods’ and a Netflix release ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’ which will be released posthumously.
Boseman will continue to be revered in our hearts and through his works. Remembering him, and quoting the Black Panther, “In my culture, death is not the end”, “Wakanda Forever”.
Hindustan Times, The Guardian, The Indian Express
Edited by Sagarika Satapathy