North Texas Daily

The legacy and impact of Chadwick Boseman

The legacy and impact of Chadwick Boseman

The legacy and impact of Chadwick Boseman
August 31
14:38 2020

On Aug. 28, Chadwick Boseman died in his home, surrounded by his family. The actor, producer and director had been privately battling colon cancer since 2016, and his team broke the devastating news of his passing late Friday.

Boseman was known for playing historical figures such as Jackie Robinson in “42” (2013), Thurgood Marshall in “Marshall” (2017) and James Brown in “Get on Up” (2014). He entered the Marvel Cinematic Universe as their first leading Black superhero, Black Panther, and starred in “Captain America: Civil War” (2016), “Black Panther” (2018), “Avengers: Infinity War” (2018) and “Avengers: Endgame” (2019). It was intended he continue this role in a second “Black Panther” movie tentatively slated for May 2022. Recently, he starred in Spike Lee’s “Da 5 Bloods” which came out earlier this summer, and his final role will be in the film “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” set to air on Netflix later this year.

More than an actor, Boseman was a trailblazer, an activist and a hero to so many in the Black community. His brilliance as an actor and passion for his community translated into captivating performances as Black heroes and icons like Robinson, Brown and Marshall. He chose roles that uplifted and celebrated Black voices, and the true magnitude of his impact can be seen most clearly in his role as T’Challa in “Black Panther.” Boseman will be remembered and cherished as a superhero off-screen as much as he was on, and several writers, editors and photographers for the North Texas Daily have shared their thoughts to honor his legacy.

“Growing up in a predominantly white area I always felt like an outsider. I was a geeky Black kid who would come home from school and watch the same superhero shows on repeat. Despite my love of superheroes, I struggled to feel like I fit in, even in a fantasy world filled with guys in spandex and cliché supervillains. That was until I saw ‘Black Panther’ for the first time with my parents. Seeing Chadwick Boseman on screen playing an African king felt unbelievably uplifting. Although I’m sad he went through so much pain, I feel like his journey was filled with love, knowledge, and true heroism. Thank you for helping this Black geek feel like a superhero! Wakanda Forever!” — Zach Thomas, Digital media manager

“From the moment I was first introduced to Chadwick Boseman on ’42’ I knew he was going to be special. In the span of less than a decade, Boseman cemented his legacy by providing depth to his characters with warmth, charisma and relatability only an elite group of actors/actresses are capable of. He was taken too soon but he was never taken for granted. Thank you Chadwick and I know you are in a better place.” — Adrian Maldonado, Opinion writer

“This year has been filled with the death of many influential Black people. While each one has impacted the community deeply, this particular one struck me the heaviest. Chadwick Boseman dedicated his craft to uplifting prominent Black figures. From Jackie Robinson and Thurgood Marshall to James Brown and many more. He became the first Black superhero for little Black boys and Black girls in his role as the Black Panther. Seeing a mighty character that looks like us was something incredibly special for my siblings and I. Chadwick Boseman was legendary and his impact will be felt generations to come. May he rest in power.” — Michelle Monari, Opinion writer

“When I think of Boseman as an actor, I think of grace. His performances in his leading roles command the utmost respect and highest praise, but he does so with such humility. I was equally as mesmerized watching him in interviews, as his passion for the arts is so refreshing. Through his roles as historical figures but especially as T’Challa in ‘Black Panther,’ he bore heavy responsibility with a composure and skill that no one else could achieve. It’s because of him that Black children get to see themselves as heroes and the protagonists of their story. His is a gutting, inexplicably grievous loss as a young and talented actor who deserved so many more years than he was given. But the sheer magnitude of what he did with the years he had will perpetuate the fondness of his memory.” — Haley Arnold, Arts & Life editor

“Chadwick was a phenomenal talent and seemed like such a genuinely good person. 43 is too young to die. He was an inspiration to many young Black kids, myself included and to discover what he suffered through in private was devastating. No one could ever come close to emulating the type of person Chadwick was and still is; he was truly a unique human being. Rest in Power, King.” — Chance Townsend, Opinion editor

“While he may not have touched me in the same way he touched Black communities in America, he carried with himself an absolutely transcendent presence, whether he was with fans or on the silver screen. While he was taken too soon, he left behind a magnificent body of work and his legend will reign eternal.”  — Will Tarpley, News writer

“As a baseball player growing up, I never actually knew the real history and process for Jackie Robinson to break the racial barrier for Major League Baseball in 1947. You just sort of assumed he was a good player and automatically was respected, but that’s not what happened. Boseman’s performance in the film shows historic accuracy on the racism and hatred he faced from not only his opponents but his own team.” — Preston Rios, Sports writer

“Seeing Chadwick’s impact on the world was more than inspiring. He took every role he had and made the world truly believe that he understood each character enough to become them. I’ve never been a huge fan of superhero movies due to the occasional cliche character, but Chadwick took his role as T’Challa/Black Panther and made him the most relatable and badass superhero of all time. Seeing videos of Chadwick breaks my heart because you realize that the best people struggle the most, but even if that’s so Chadwick remained positive and became an inspiration to so many and I’m so happy he was able to have the impact he did. Even though Chadwick is gone, he will live on forever in his message and his inspirational roles, and I truly hope he has found peace.” — Rebekah Schulte, Design Editor

Featured Illustration by Miranda Thomas

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North Texas Daily

North Texas Daily

The North Texas Daily is the official student newspaper of the University of North Texas, proudly serving UNT and the Denton community since 1916.

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