The Legacy of Chadwick Boseman

Claire Hein, Staff Writer

“The struggles along the way are only meant to shape you for your purpose.” -Chadwick Boseman

A young, inspiring, spirited, talented man and actor describes who Chadwick Boseman was, and who he should be remembered as. But not only should he be remembered, his life should be celebrated and represented in society every day. The 43-year-old actor was best known for his portrayal of T’Challa in “Black Panther,” alongside many other iconic roles like Jackie Robinson in the movie “42.” He always put full effort into each character he played, and in each role, he transformed into the character with such grace. Boseman was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer in 2016, but never spoke publicly about his illness or struggles with it. Redmond senior Cierra Cadman said, “I think he downplayed it to focus on his career and to accomplish what he wanted before he passed.” That is why the news of his passing this past August shocked the world. 

His diagnosis must have been extremely difficult to live through, especially as he continued to act his heart out and keep a big smile on his face while doing it. He is an outstanding example of strength and extreme perseverance, even when the world is not in your favor. While enduring chemotherapy and countless surgeries, Boseman continued to act in and help make at least three movies. He was not just a popular, handsome actor, though. He was also an activist in several current societal problems and contributed to making the world a better and more accepting place. He took advantage of his platform and being well-known, which is super inspiring to people of all ages and races. Skyline junior Megan Karr said, “He played hero roles and that showed kids that they could be anything.” His impact on society was mainly for younger audiences, considering his role as an African American man acting as a superhero. Boseman hoped that playing this role would encourage young black children to be proud of their race, and not let it hold them back from being what they want to be in life. He contributed to the success of each movie he acted in; for example, “Black Panther.” The movie became a symbol of pride for black audience members as they could be represented as the hero in society.

Dogo News stated that Boseman “persuaded Marvel executives to have King T’Challa speak with a South African-inspired accent, rather than the European one they had initially envisioned for the role.” He wanted the audience to appreciate the authenticity of the language, and the idea of the land thriving without the influence of colonization. Boseman purposefully turned the attention towards those aspects of his movies in the hope of normalizing differences between cultures and ways of life, especially African culture because of the racism in the world today. He was a devoted person and lived his life to the fullest. Sophomore Joey Pereira spoke about Boseman saying, “I haven’t heard anything bad like scandals about him.” Throughout his acting career, he was devoted to spreading love. No one person is perfect, but Boseman was focused on living through faith and spreading love to everyone because he was such a caring person. He met fans in person and it was obvious how important his fans and their happiness were to him. 

North Texas Daily writes about the actor and his death, saying, “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 devoted so much to his acting because inspiring and shining a light on others meant a lot to him. He supported several cancer foundations, and donated money to causes that he supported. News Break stated that Boseman gave a “$4.2 million dollar donation in personal protective equipment (PPE) to hospitals serving the black community.” He seemed to use his money and fame for good, and set a great example of supporting the most important things in life while he could. Boseman represented humanity, and the black community is mourning his death because of the impact he made on their community. 

Boseman was rightfully praised on behalf of his role in “Black Panther” because of the cultural impact from the movie coming at a time while black people felt hopeless in the continuous and difficult fight for equality. It was obvious that society and the movie industry needed a black superhero because of the inequality in society, so his part in “Black Panther” as T’Challa exemplified the black hero figure and representation of the African community. He helped bring African art and beauty to life, and did it all with grace and respect. Lake Washington freshman Max Hein said, “He should be proud of his acting career and his life as a good person.” And so many people today agree with that statement. Chadwick Boseman led a fantastic legacy and was an outstanding man and actor and inspired so many people all over the world.