Chadwick Boseman: Wakanda Forever

I am not a big watcher of films. I rarely go to the cinema and unless it’s something I’m super eager for, or the occasional friend begs me to go, I’m waiting until home release.

So I admit I have not seen many of Chadwick Boseman’s works. But I did see Black Panther. It honestly blew me away.

I’m not a person of color by any means. But I know what it’s like to watch a film and feel empowered by it. As a woman, that feeling doesn’t often hit me. But when it does, I know what it awakens. It is a feeling of strength that builds from my core and fills my entire being. That is a magic that comes when a story is told well.

I am not black and I never will be—thus I will never know that experience—but I know from watching Black Panther that the entire film must have held that same feeling for people of color. The strength behind that film was empowering and inspiring. I remember seeing what it awakened in people all over the world. The celebrations, the continued cheers of “Wakanda Forever!” I’ve cried tears at seeing black men, women, and children speak about how affirmed that film made them feel.

We need more of that.

And at the heart of it, I find Chadwick Boseman. As I sit and read different memorials and testaments to his work and character, I am even more amazed. To know that he made so many memorable works and films that inspired others, all while battling cancer. How he comforted children in hospitals while silently fighting himself. Even to see how he fought to ensure that Wakandans all spoke with an African accent rather than British in the Marvel films to ensure Wakandans were not portrayed as colonized.

There’s so much that I am seeing and learning from these stories, and while I cry, I also smile for the man who was King, both in film and in life. Because all of these heartwarming stories are what a King, a good leader, truly is.

Though I never knew him myself, he seems like one who fought hard and stood by beliefs. He cared and loved fiercely, and strived to help others see a better world. The legacy he leaves behind is one of empowerment and strength. I firmly believe that black men, women, and children will be inspired by him and the characters he portrayed for years to come.

Again, though I’ve never met this man in my life and though my measly familiarity with him is Black Panther, I mourn. There is a whole life’s worth of films and characters that we’ve lost, but his legacy—not just the characters and roles—is one of love, compassion, and empowerment for every black man, woman, and child around the world.

Rest In Peace, for I’m sure it’s been a long battle, but know that the world mourns. And they will also remember.

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