On Aug. 28, 2020, actor Chadwick Boseman passed away at the age of 43 after a four-year battle with colon cancer. Boseman starred as the main character in numerous significant films highlighting the African American experience, such as Jackie Robinson in 42, Thurgood Marshall in Marshall, and James Brown in Get On Up. However, his most notable and influential role was as King T’Challa in Marvel’s Black Panther. Boseman’s powerful acting helped bring to life one of the most popular, predominantly black-cast movies of the 21st century. Additionally, portraying King T’Challa as one of the few black superheroes that have starred in comic book movies, he used his platform to advocate for African American representation in the media. Loyola students were shocked by the news of his passing, especially because it was revealed he was battling stage three colon cancer while filming Black Panther. After his death became public, Cubs took to social media to mourn the loss, voicing their support for his family and appreciation for his life. The students made it clear that he was one of the most impactful people of their time in high school. Although his life was unfortunately cut short, Chadwick Boseman’s legacy will not be forgotten. The following is a series of quotes from Loyola community members who both mourn his loss and express gratitude for his contributions.
“Boseman was someone who black kids could look up to. I don’t know much about his personal life, but he was still someone I could look up to because he was a black superhero, and there weren’t many of those.”
“It is difficult for a white person to think about not seeing someone like them in movies or television because white people have played almost every role imaginable. But the rest of us have grown up seeing very few people who look like us in powerful positions. Generations to come will be able to thank Chadwick Boseman for bringing strong black characters to the movie screen. Boseman has accomplished more in 40 years than most people will ever be able to do. I am forever grateful for him.”
“Black Panther was an important movie for me. I’ll never forget walking out of the theater after watching the movie, and seeing how many kids came out screaming the phrase “Wakanda Forever.” It gave me and other children of color our first superhero to look up to and identify with, which came at a time when we needed it most. Boseman’s portrayal of T’Challa was outstanding and it will be so hard for any other actor to match his performance of the character. Watching him act in his other roles as African-American figures such as Jackie Robinson in 42 and James Brown in Get On Up also captivated me into becoming a huge fan of his work. Off the screen, his activism for the Black Lives Matter movement was huge and he contributed a lot to it. He was an inspirational figure who will be missed greatly by the whole world.”
“In my humble opinion, Chadwick Boseman soared as an instrument of optimism during a period where being a black man in America often came with an ominous perspective of humanity. Acting as a symbol of strength, unity, musical genius and black pride, both on screen and off, Boseman has impacted, not only the black community, but the world. Thankfully, his impact does not perish with his physical body. Yet it is living art through his motion pictures. The “greats” live on through the stories we tell. My children will know of the profound positive life-giving work Boseman has given to me and the world as a whole. Wakanda Forever!”
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