The King of R&B, The King of Wakanda and The King on the Diamond—Chadwick Boseman played them all.
Boseman, an accomplished actor with a thriving career, died on Aug. 28, 2020 after a long battle with colon cancer. He spent his time on screen telling us about other people’s legacies and, in the process, left his own.
In Boseman’s career, he played the first black superhero with his own major movie in Marvel’s “Black Panther.” He also played and told the life story of the king of soul James Brown in the movie “Get on Up.” Portraying the struggles of breaking the color barrier in major league baseball in the movie “42,” he played baseball legend Jackie Robinson.
He worked alongside high profile names such as Angela Bassett, Harrison Ford and Viola Davis, as well as many high-profile directors like Spike Lee, Ryan Coogler and Joe and Anthony Russo. Boseman’s legacy is something that can be seen on the silver screen, and even here at UNO.
Tim Eaves is a journalism major at UNO with hopes of making movies one day. The first movie he saw of Boseman’s was “42,” back in high school. He spoke on what Boseman’s legacy meant to him personally and for the Film community as a whole. Eaves says his legacy affected him personally because he wants to make movies in the future.
“We can learn from people like Chadwick and strive to be like them,” Eaves says. “You can’t talk about the history of Black people in movies and not mention Chadwick.”
Eaves also added how Boseman taught him that no matter what, always do your best and do it with a smile on your face.
Boseman spent his time on screen telling stories of both historical Black figures and fictional ones, giving a voice to people who have historically been under or mis-represented in film and entertainment. This is important to not only the black community, but to all people.
Eaves says that we do not give our legends, especially Black legends, their flowers while they are here.
“I wish we truly gave these black actors and actresses their flowers while they are living,” Eaves says. “We always talk about greats after they pass but it is important to give them their credit while they are alive.”
Boseman had been battling colon cancer silently for four years. One thing that we all can take away from Boseman’s legacy, aside from his career, is to be kind to one another. We all have our battles going on whether they are known or unknown. Be kind to each other because we never know what another person is going through.
Thank you to Chadwick Boseman for teaching us that we can all be superheroes and tell amazing stories while alive on Earth. His legacy will live on forever—Wakanda Forever!