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Chadwick Boseman: The Bronze Man (1976-2020)

Movie Corner

By HOWARD McQUITTER II 

“The worst is Death, and death will have his day.” –William Shakespeare 

The day I heard Chadwick Boseman died, his death shocked my system. What’s more he was only 43 years old, dying of colon cancer. ( I’m all too familiar with colon cancer, thanks be to God I’m still here to talk about it.) 

Young, gifted, Black and handsome Mr. Chadwick came into the world on November 29, 1976, born and raised in Anderson, SouthCarolina, to Carolyn and Leroy Boseman. The likes of a Boseman– his voice, his expertise, his persona, his reverential treatment of scripts as a thespian not only causes little Black boys and girls to dream, but to do what God gives them as upcoming thespians: talent. 

Boseman leaves lasting marks in cinema by acting in biopics of African American icons such as playing baseball star Jackie Robinson in “42”(2013); college football great Vontae Mack in “Draft Day”(2014); R&B entertainer James Brown in “Get On Up” (2014) ; and first-time African American Supreme Cour Judge Thurgood Marshall in “Marshall”(2017). 

A lesser known fact– but just as important– Phylicia Rashad, famous for her role as BillCosby’s character wife on “The Cosby Show” as Clair Huxtable, was one of Boseman’s teachers in the acting classes at Howard University. Veteran actor Denzel Washington helped Boseman and other students to join an acting program at Oxford University. Hollywood had longtime doubts that a Black superhero with a majority Black cast could or would be a big seller at the box office. 

In 2018, all bets were off when the action/ adventure/ science-fiction movie “Black Panther” premiered, starring Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa, Micheal B. Jordan as Erik Killmonger, Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia, Danai Gurira as Okoye, Daniel Kaluuya as W’Kabi, Letitia Wright as Shuri, Forest Whitaker as Zuri, as part of an ensemble under the steady hand of director Ryan Coogler. 

“Black Panther” takes place in the idealistic kingdom of Wakanda where Black people actually rule. “Black Panther” surpassed nearly everybody’s expectations on the national and international scale. It was only the second movie by a Black director to gross over one billion dollars worldwide. (The first African American to have a movie gross over one billion dollars worldwide was F. Gary Gray’s “The Fate of the Furious “ in 2017.) 

“Black Panther” started out as a comic book by Steve Levy and Jack Kirby in 1966, the first Black superhero. There was talk of doing a movie entitled “Black Panther” having Wesley Snipes playing the title character, but the project never got off the ground. Like the late August Wilson (1945-2005), Chadwick Boseman dedicated his life around the life and history of Black People. 

Some of Chadwick Boseman’s Work In Film 

“The Express”(2008) (Floyd Little), 

“The Kill Hole”(2012) (Lt. Samuel Drake), 

“42”(2013) (Jackie Robinson), 

“Get On Up”(2014) (James Brown) 

“Draft Day”(2014) (Vontae Mack) 

“Message from the King”(2016) (Jacob King) 

“Gods of Egypt”(2016) (Thoth) 

“Captain America: Civil War”(2016) (T’Challa/ Black Panther) 

“Marshall” (2017) (Thurgood Marshall) 

“Black Panther” (2018) (T’Challa) 

“Avengers:Infinity War”(2018) (T’Challa/Black Panther) 

“Avengers:Endgame” (2019) (T’Challa) 

“21 Bridges” (2019) (Andre Davis) 

“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”(2020) (Levee) 

“Da 5 Bloods(2020) (Stormin’ Norman) 

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