A real-life superhero

Illustration by Aleah Green

Jan. 26 and Aug. 28th — two horrible days in this awful year that will never leave the memories of people who follow the entertainment world. The world has now lost two Black kings in 2020 with Kobe Bryant’s death, and just a few weeks ago, the shocking announcement of  Chadwick Boseman’s. 

Throughout his film career, Boseman portrayed Black icons, such as musician James Brown in “Get on Up” and former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall in “Marshall.”

Boseman’s breakout performance came in 2013 with his portrayal of Major League Baseball Hall-of-Famer Jackie Robinson in “42.”  It would be the true introduction to an actor who would go on to achieve one of the greatest feats for a Black actor in film. 

With many iconic roles under his belt, it only made sense that Marvel Studios would cast Boseman as T’Challa, better known as Black Panther. When Black Panther first made his debut in “Captain America: Civil War,” audiences knew they were in for something special. 

“Black Panther” became a solo film in 2018, which received worldwide acclaim and became the first time that the Black community could enjoy an all-Black cast in a major comic book superhero film. 

An actor who portrayed Black icons from the past would become his own icon, as the film grossed over $1 billion and gave Black youth around the world someone they could look up to for years to come within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

Boseman’s death broke the hearts of millions across the world. When it was announced, it felt as though hope had been lost. However, we should remember and appreciate everything Boseman did in the four years he was battling colon cancer. 

The late Stuart Scott said, “When you die, that does not mean you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live and the manner in which you live.” No one embodied these words better than Boseman. 

He put smiles on everyone’s faces and entertained millions while fighting cancer. There is nothing more honorable or inspiring than that. Chadwick Boseman was a superhero. 

Rest in peace, king