By: Zach Draves
As if 2020 couldn’t get more tragic.
We are sucked into an endless vacuum of despair.
Just as the nation is being forced to reckon with systemic racism, we lose one of the most dynamic and vital cultural icons of our time.
(Courtesy: Free Press Journal)
One of Hollywood’s most dashing stars passed away after a 4-year battle with colon cancer.
His resume spoke for itself.
James Brown in Get on Up and Thurgood Marshall in Marshall.
He helped to usher in a cultural renaissance and galvanize an Afro-futuristic movement with Black Panther.
Playing the coveted role of King T’Challa, Chadwick and his castmates were the epitomai of black humanity, black heroism, and black power.
It came out at a critical moment in society and culture against the backdrop of the Black Lives Matter movement and the normalization of white supremacy.
A new generation of black children and youth are using the fields of STEM as a mechanism for racial justice and social mobility.
They were represented on screen in an unprecedented way.
Chadwick got his start with his portrayal of Jackie Robinson in 42.
Released in 2013, the film told the story of Jackie’s breaking the color barrier into Major League Baseball in 1947.
(Courtesy: Business Insider)
The reaction was palpable and it catapulted Chadwick into superstardom.
It gave a new generation a more complex look at the life of Jackie in the lead up to that historic moment in April 1947.
As for Chadwick, he was forever linked to the legacy of number 42 and was fortunate enough to receive credence from the Jackie Robinson Foundation and MLB.
We are devastated by the tragic loss of Chadwick Boseman. His transcendent performance in “42” will stand the test of time and serve as a powerful vehicle to tell Jackie’s story to audiences for generations to come. pic.twitter.com/8oU7QpdLSE
— MLB (@MLB) August 29, 2020
— Jackie Robinson Foundation (@JRFoundation) August 29, 2020
LeBron James took to the court to show his love
The timing of his passing in the context of systemic racial injustice.
He was to the broader cultural landscape an unapologetic black man.
His impact is going to be felt for years to come
By that I mean, there is probably going to be a surge of participation and investment in STEM.
There is probably going to be an increase in enrollment towards HBCUs, including black athletes.
Chadwick was a graduate of Howard University.
Much as it was with Beyonce’s Coachella performance that paid homage to HBCUs and saw a rise in enrollment rates.
Chadwick Boseman was the Sidney Poitier, Ossie Davis, and Denzel Washington of his time.
His authentic blackness is what made him immortal.
His place in history will be recognized in Wakanda, the Apollo Theater, the Supreme Court, and Ebbets Field.
Rest in Power King.