Chadwick Boseman: A King’s Perseverance

Chadwick Boseman. Courtesy: @chadwickboseman Twitter

by Kopper Boyd

2020 has been extremely rough for everyone, from the onset of COVID-19 to the tension-filled climate of what just may be the new Civil Rights movement. Many would say that nothing could make this year, already filled with so many unwanted surprises and tragedies, worse. But on August 28 we were blindsided by even more tragic news, as it was announced that actor Chadwick Boseman had lost an undisclosed, four-year battle with colon cancer.

Chadwick Boseman, known by many for his portrayal of King T’Challa in Marvel’s Black Panther, was a man of many talents and great character, but most importantly, he was the embodiment of perseverance. Diagnosed with stage three colon cancer in 2016, he worked hard to deliver stunning performances in films that are revered by many, despite countless surgeries and rounds of chemotherapy. 

Boseman portrayed myriad influential Black figures, including James Brown in Get On Up,  Jackie Robinson in 42 and Justice Thurgood Marshall in Marshall. 2019’s 21 Bridges, and 2020’s Da 5 Bloods are among his more recent performances. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, an upcoming Netflix film, will feature Boseman in his final role. He also made appearances on a number of TV shows, and delivered the commencement speech at his alma mater, Howard University, in 2018.

For Boseman, the success from his acting career was great, but what really moved him was being able to inspire and encourage others to be successful. He considered his role in Black Panther as the honor of his career because of the impact that the movie had on viewers. He recognized that it was an opportunity to highlight African American creativity, and that his community was immensely proud and appreciative to see a superhero that looked like them on the big screen.

This year has been difficult, and will continue to be difficult moving forward, but we can continue to endure and motivate each other the way Chadwick Boseman did for his fans and contemporaries alike. Although concentrating in classes and dealing with the stressors of a pandemic may make our goals and prospective success seem impossible at times, we can do it.  

We can continue to find purpose in our day to day lives, our relationships, our careers, and in the paths that we choose. We must do the things that we need to to realize our dreams. As Boseman said, “Your very existence is wrapped up in the things you need to fulfill. Whatever you choose for a career path, remember the struggles along the way are only meant to shape you for your purpose.”

Kopper Boyd is staff writer for The Sting.

Author: kdaniellebubalt

My name is Kopper Boyd and I am a staff writer for The Sting. I am a curious individual whose first love is fashion. My second love is literature and poetry, and I enjoy writing my own as a Creative Writing MFA student at UB. Traveling, trying new things, and engaging in new experiences would all be the runners up, and I'm looking forward to being able to indulge in those things again once COVID ends. Feel free to contact me.

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