Chadwick Boseman’s Inspiring, Impactful Film Legacy

On Aug. 28, 2020, the world was stunned by the news that Chadwick Boseman had died.

By David Crow

Only 43 years old, Boseman left behind a brief but sparkling career that lived up to the goals he set for himself.

Boseman rejected notions of victimhood outright, and sought his own destiny.

Boseman realized that destiny after he graduated from Howard in 2000, but it wasn’t a straight path to Black Panther.

He was fired from his first screen role on the soap All My Children, because he asked to make his character less stereotypical.

He worked in television throughout the 2000s and early 2010s, but his breakthrough was playing Jackie Robinson in Brian Helgeland’s 42 (2013).

Robinson would be the first in a string of real-life heroes Boseman would portray, including James Brown in Get on Up (2014) and Thurgood Marshall in Marshall (2017).

Marshall highlighted the historical impetus for the rights of all Americans, irrespective of race, creed, or background.

But Boseman’s most influential role came when he was cast as T’Challa, the African prince who would become Black Panther across four Marvel Studios movies—three of which he filmed while battling cancer.

After Boseman’s passing in August, former President Barack Obama tweeted, “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.”

Chadwicke Boseman’s final film, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, will be released on Netflix in December.