“In my culture, death is not the end. It’s more of a stepping off point. You reach out with both hands and Bast and Sekhmet, they lead you into a green veld where…you can run forever.”
— T’Challa, “Captain America: Civil War”
Chadwick Boseman, a marvelous actor who brought life to the superhero Black Panther, breathed his last on 28 August, 2020. Boseman was privately fighting a four-year battle with colon cancer, according to a statement posted from his official Twitter account. The statement further said, “A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much. From Marshall to Da 5 Bloods, August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and several more, all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy.
It was the honour of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther.”
Boseman was first diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer in 2016, the same year he made his debut as comic superhero King T’Challa, aka Black Panther, in Captain America: Civil War. Later on, he was battling cancer while making blockbusters, like Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame. While most Marvel superheroes are legendary pop culture figures, Boseman’s Black Panther was one of the few Black superheroes our generation knew, and the only one in a role as powerful and revered.
Even in his interview with Times, he said, “The projects that I end up doing, that I want to be involved with in any way, have always been projects that will be impactful, for the most part, to my people — to Black people. To see Black people in ways which you have not seen before.”
Despite his sudden death at the age of just 43, Chadwick Boseman’s art and legacy will continue forever. Our heart goes out to his family and friends. The world just witnessed a tremendous loss.
*Yibambe means “Hold Strong” in the Xhosa language.