Chadwick Boseman: King of Wakanda forever

Class of 2000. My brother from Howard, I love you. I don’t believe I ever met your acquaintance during our time getting an education at the Mecca. I don’t recall ever seeing you out on The Yard during lunch or walking to and from classes.

Perhaps we chatted as we stood in line as we waited to go through registration. Maybe we ran into each other during Finals in the computer room in the School of C (Communications).

That’s neither here nor there, but there are a couple of things we do have in common: we’re Black men. Howard University is our home. And we both share the same graduating class. You do us proud, Chadwick. Your walk with integrity made us all better. You taught us that quiet strength is still a noble trait to have.

You made us believe in the movies again. When we saw T’Challa, we saw the best in us. Right now, I am at a loss for words. In fact, it is difficult to write anything related to good-bye. Not you. Not now. We need you, Chadwick Boseman. We need you to continue to inspire us the way that you have in so many of the entertainment projects you brought to life.

Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER..Black Panther/T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman)..Ph: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2018

You were class and dignity personified. You made us believe in the icons you portrayed on the big screen. You made us think that “Wakanda Forever,” was more than just a popular catchphrase. You made us feel the soul-searching agony and turmoil that the great Jackie Robinson felt in the iconic film 42.

And how is it that you managed to make your transition to your Heavenly quarters on the day that Major League Baseball paid homage to the man who broke the color barrier in the sport in 1947 by holding “Jackie Robinson Day?” That’s you, though. Right? Always with impeccable timing and leaving us wishing for something more.

For selfish reasons, the more that we wish for now is you still being here with us. But God saw things differently. Your talents have been called to serve in another and higher arena. We know that God has you. But still doesn’t feel good to us. The promise of a prince is what we had in you. You held the promise to be that next great actor.

“Black Panther” star Chadwick Boseman was nominated for an NAACP Image Award as Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall in the film “Marshall.” Photo by Dennis J. Freeman

You were going to be that one person who could transcend the movie and entertainment industry. Let’s think about this for a second, Chadwick. You portrayed the biggest Black figure in the history of Major League Baseball. You had the audacity to take on James Brown in Get On Up. You went further in the iconic role department when you played former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall in Marshall.

When you were introduced to the Marvel Entertainment family as Black Panther in Captain Ameria: Civil War, you inspired a whole new legion of comic-book hero fans. And when T’Challa went solo in Black Panther, you orbited into a stratosphere where only the great ones go. Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame only added to your legendary stature as a ground-breaking actor.

And yet you never forgot your cultural pedigree. We see that in Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods and in the Denzel Washington produced film-the August Wilson stageplay  Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Your beautiful smile brought us joy and disarmed us with a discernable peace. You were the warrior many of us looked up. You were the king we all aspired to be, Chadwick. And we love you for making the world a better place. Rest in power, my friend. HU!!

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