AFRICAN MIRROR REPORTER
A former US president, current presidential candidate, celebrities across the world, actors and actresses have offered moving condolences and tributes to Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman who died at 43 from colon cancer.
These are some of the tributes that poured in since the Boseman’s death:
Barrack Obama: ‘Chadwick came to the White House to work with kids when he was playing Jackie Robinson. You could tell right away that he was blessed. To be young, gifted, and Black; to use that power to give them heroes to look up to; to do it all while in pain – what a use of his years.”
Lewis Hamilton: “A superhero died last night. That was really weighing heavy on me today. I remember when I was a kid, Superman was the hero,” said Hamilton, himself a vocal advocate of diversity and racial equality since the May 25 killing of George Floyd by a white police officer in Minneapolis.
“He didn’t look like me but I still thought Superman was the greatest. So when Chad became a superhero in Wakanda it was such a special day for so many people,” added Hamilton, who met Boseman on a few occasions. To see the first Black superhero come out… ah, man, everyone was just so proud. I can imagine a young Black kid looking up and seeing that it’s possible to be a superhero now.”
Joe Biden: “The true power of @ChadwickBoseman was bigger than anything we saw on screen. From the Black Panther to Jackie Robinson, he inspired generations and showed them they can be anything they want — even super heroes. Jill and I are praying for his loved ones at this difficult time.”
Angela Bassett: “It was meant to be for me and Chadwick to be connected, for us to be family. But what many don’t know is that our story began long before his historic turn as Black Panther. During the premier party of Black Panther, Chadwick reminded me of something. He whispered that when I received my honorary degree from Howard University, his alma matter, he was the student assigned to escort me that day. And here we were, as friends and colleagues, enjoying the most rigorous night ever!”
Hillary Clinton: “Colon cancer has taken too many young Black men too soon. I’m heartbroken for Chadwick Boseman’s family and friends, and for everyone who saw themselves in his roles. He was a hero on screen and off. Sending comfort to everyone grieving.”
Trevor Noah: “Yes this was our king. Not because we served him or because he ruled. But because of how he served us in everything he did. He played a hero on screen and lived like one in real life. He made so many of us proud of who we are. Hamba kahle Chadwick…Sizoku bona phambili.”
Viola Davis: “Chadwick…..no words to express my devastation of losing you. Your talent, your spirit, your heart, your authenticity……..It was an honor working beside you, getting to know you….Rest well prince…May flights of angels sing thee to thy heavenly rest. I love you! “
Kamala Harris: “Heartbroken. My friend and fellow Bison Chadwick Boseman was brilliant, kind, learned, and humble. He left too early but his life made a difference. Sending my sincere condolences to his family.”
Don Cheadle: “i will miss you, birthday brother. you were always light and love to me. my god …forever and ever …”
Samuel L Jackson: “THANK YOU @chadwickboseman for all you gave us. We needed it & will always cherish it! A talented & giving artist & brother who will be sorely missed. R.I.P”.
John Legend: “’I’m so shocked and heartbroken about Chadwick. He was such a bright light, such a gifted performer. He brought grace, elegance and power to everything he did. He always seemed to carry our ancestors with him. And now he joins them far too soon.”
Chris Harris: I’m absolutely devastated. This is beyond heartbreaking. Chadwick was special. A true original. He was a deeply committed and constantly curious artist. He had so much amazing work still left to create. I’m endlessly grateful for our friendship. Rest in power, KingBlue heart.`
Boseman, a native of South Carolina who began his screen career in episodes of television dramas such as “Third Watch,” “Law & Order” and “ER,” passed away at his home, with his wife and family at his side, the statement on Twitter and Facebook said. It did not specify when he died. He resided in Los Angeles.
Boseman made his feature film debut with a small part in the 2008 sports biopic “The Express,” a drama based on the life of college football hero Ernie Davis, the first Black player to win the Heisman trophy.
He went on to star as a number of other real-life characters famed for breaking America’s racial barriers, including soul singer James Brown in “Get on Up,” Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall in “Marshall,” and baseball pioneer Jackie Robinson in “42.”
But the actor’s most memorable role was his performance as T’Challa, king of the fictional, futuristic African kingdom of Wakanda and the crime fighter known as Black Panther, in the first major studio superhero movie featuring a predominantly African-American cast.
Embraced by global audiences, “Black Panther” became the second highest grossing movie at box offices worldwide in 2018, heralded for its vibrant celebration of African culture and applauded as a milestone for racial diversity in Hollywood.
The film was nominated for six Oscars, including best picture. It won three Academy Awards – in the best original score, best costume design and best production design categories. It also won the top Screen Actors Guild award that year for best movie ensemble.
Boseman originated the Black Panther film role two years earlier in Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War,” and reprised the part twice more in 2018’s “Avengers: Infinity War” and 2019’s “Avengers: Endgame.”
In June, Boseman joined more than 300 Black actors and filmmakers who signed an open letter urging Hollywood to steer away from entertainment glorifying police brutality and corruption and to invest in anti-racist content.
The letter was written in the midst of a cultural and political reckoning with systematic racism in the United States in the wake of the George Floyd death in Minneapolis.
Tributes and expressions of shock poured in on Twitter from fans and fellow Hollywood figures, including Marvel film co-stars Mark Ruffalo (the Incredible Hulk) and Chris Evans (Captain America).
The Twitter-Facebook statement said Boseman was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer in 2016, an illness that progressed ultimately to stage 4 and went publicly undisclosed until his death, though he had grown noticeably thin in recent public appearances and social media posts.
“We never know what people are enduring,” Bernice King, the daughter of the late civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., wrote on Twitter in a salute to the actor. “Humans … we are wonders. Thank you, Chadwick, for gifting us with your greatness in the midst of a painful struggle.” – Thomson Reuters Foundation.