Fans bid farewell to Chadwick Boseman, hero on and off screen


Rizlin Jew '22

Chadwick Boseman, a hero to many on and off screen, died of colon cancer.

Noah David ’22, Staff Reporter

On August 28, 2020, the world was stunned after receiving the news that African-American actor Chadwick Boseman died after a four-year battle against colon cancer. 

Most known for his heroic role in the worldwide phenomenon, Marvel’s Black Panther, Boseman also took on empowering roles in movies and works such as 42, Message from the King, Get on Up, and many more.

“I first discovered Chadwick Boseman from him playing Jackie Robinson in 42. When the movie was put onto HBO, it became one of my favorite movies. Chadwick was a great actor,” stated BSU member Brandon Sturdivant ’22. 

Additionally, Reggie Brown ’22 stated, “I first saw Chadwick in 42. I really enjoyed the movie and would give it a 10/10.” 

During his junior year in high school, Boseman wrote and staged his first play, Crossroads, in honor of his friend who was shot and killed. 

After high school, Boseman attended Howard University, where his acting career took off. In addition to graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in directing, Boseman met actor Phylicia Rashad, his teacher and mentor, who raised funds for Boseman and other students to attend a summer program at the British American Drama Academy in London. Through Rashad, Boseman was also introduced to the influential actor Denzel Washington, Boseman’s role model, who helped pay for Boseman’s tuition as well.

After this program, Boseman graduated from New York City’s Digital Film Academy and worked as a drama instructor at The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, New York until he moved to Los Angeles to officially start acting in 2008. 

During his lifetime, Boseman earned awards such as a NAACP Image Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award. He also received high praise from his fellow actors. Many people could not believe he was gone.

“I was surprised that he was fighting cancer because he seemed unphased when he was shooting all these movies. I was also sad because his career ended abruptly and he was so young,” stated Matthew Mendoza ’22. 

Similarly, Sturdivant added, “I was in shock and sad. I even had to keep off social media to keep my mind off his passing. After a few days, I started to accept it and talk to my friends about it. We were in shock.” 

Following his death, many of Chadwick Boseman’s friends, family, and peers honored his inspirational life and impressive career with art pieces, emotional social media tributes, and watching movies he starred in. Aside from his notable works, Chadwick was also an inspiration to anyone wanting to make an impact on the world and the world’s African-American community. 

As Brown stated, “I thought he was an amazing actor and he was a big inspiration to young Black men around the world to achieve their dreams.” 

Mendoza also said, “Chadwick showed us that no matter what challenges or difficulties you face in life, strength and perseverance will bring you success.” 

Similar to others, Sturdivant had high praise for the actor, as he stated, “The African-American community all saw him as an inspiration, because he went against all odds and rose up. He used his voice for change and used his wisdom to inspire others. His words and actions impacted lots of people.”