Chadwick Boseman was a lot of things to the people who knew him best. However, to his fans and those who followed his work, he will forever be OUR T’Challa. OUR Black Panther.
On August 28 (in America), the world lost a living legend. Chadwick Boseman, the man behind King T’Challa/Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe died on colon cancer surrounded by his family. It came as a massive shock to everyone. I remember being in my ‘bubble’/work space about to finish up work for the day. It was Saturday August 29 (in Australia) and I was even’t supposed to be working but I had to finish some stuff up.
I remember browsing through my Slack channel that I use to communicate with my editors for work when one of the higher ups posted something about Chadwick Boseman. Confused, I clicked the link and what I saw next will continue to haunt me. It was a statement from the actor’s family (at the time I assumed it was his representation) saying that he had passed away from colon cancer.
The higher up went on to explain that at first he thought it was fake as the link had come from an account he didn’t recognise. Celebrity hoaxes are, of course, nothing new. As the news started to spread, he realised it was very real.
Writing A Tribute To Chadwick
My editor for one of the three websites I write for jumped on and asked for someone to write our site’s tribute to Chadwick. I was quick to volunteer. I was use to writing these types of articles as I had written several over the past few years here on Project Fangirl. There was even a day where I wrote three of these.
Normally, writing these posts are sad, but necessary. However, it was a massive struggle to write one for Chadwick. I didn’t do one for Project Fangirl without wanting to burst into tears. It took me a whole 30-45 minutes after the announcement landed in the Slack channel to write it.
Chadwick’s passing hit me for six as it everyone else. I had a lot of admiration for Boseman. I loved him as Black Panther and it was because of his performance that T’Challa very quickly became one of my favourite characters.
The higher up that I mentioned before posted a list of tribute article ideas and I chose Chadwick’s most memorable Marvel moments. For a week, I struggled to watch all of Boseman’s scenes in the four MCU films he was involved in.
It took me two days to watch Captain America: Civil War. I kept pausing the movie like every two minutes to write something down or to walk around to prevent myself from bursting into tears. When I got to Black Panther, it was so hard to pick and choose which moments to include in my tribute.
It wasn’t until I submitted my article and got a message from my editor saying he loved the moments I picked out. I felt a massive wave of relief wash over me. Getting this feedback felt pretty good. It truly felt like I was really honouring Chadwick and the legacy he now leaves behind.
Thinking About What Comes Next
Watching the MCU movies with Black Panther made me realise that no matter happens next, Marvel will honour Chadwick. As much as I want to write and think about what comes next for the King of Wakanda, I don’t. I do not want to show disrespect and the team at BSP agree. Waiting until some time has passed before even talking about what comes next for T’Challa is what is best.
The next Black Panther film can wait. If they have to delay it, so be it. When it is time to talk about it, I will. For now, let the dust settle. The world needs to grieve Chadwick and talking about a movie that hasn’t even happened yet is just disrespectful.
Chadwick, you were phenomenal. People of all ethnicities admired you for the commitment you showed to not just Black Panther, but to ALL the characters you played. You didn’t allow the colour of your skin to defy who you were and you stood by your morals.
Hearing of your death broke something within us all. I remember telling my dad of your passing and he was in shock. As was my mum. Truth of the matter is, the world loves you and will honour you for what you bought to the world.
Rest in Power, King.