“Is this your king?” Indeed he is. Remembering Chadwick Boseman
This week's episode of the 'Dear Culture Podcast' pays homage to the film and philanthropist legend Chadwick Boseman.
On August 28, 2020, Chadwick Boseman’s passing shocked us all in global waves. Best known for starring as MARVEL’s Black Panther, Boseman has often been quoted to be both a stellar individual and artist from colleagues and family alike. From inspiring Black children to embrace the Wakanda in them to donating approximately $4.2 million in PPE to hospitals that serve Black communities, Boseman was indeed befitting of his title as a king of the heart. Passing at the age of 43 from colon cancer; family by his side, the young-at-heart actor was and still remains to be a “true fighter” of love and life. And on The Dear Culture Podcast, hosts Gerren Keith Gaynor and Mariel Turner, sit down and rewind to the everlasting memory of Chadwick Aaron Boseman by asking this week, “Dear Culture, how has Boseman’s death affected you?”
“We didn’t really have no idea at all that he was sick. I just felt this overwhelming sense of sadness that his journey ended, when he had so much to give.” says Senior Editor Mariel Turner.
The outpour of support to Boseman and his family come at the heels of a mournful time for the Black community. With the combined mourning of Kobe, Gianna, George Floyd, and Breonna Taylor, the year 2020 has not been for the weak at heart. If anything this year has taught us as a community, is to a) make due time for your mental health when tragic events develop and b) appreciate the loving closeness of your chosen brethren. Whether that is friends, family, colleagues, ideological heroes to even digital homies.
“We’re a family, we’re a community. And the loss of Chadwick Boseman, felt like we lost a true pillar who was just on the cusp of more great things.” says Managing Editor Gerren Keith Gaynor.
One of the most touching statements to mention is from Boseman’s friend, filmmaker Ryan Coogler who wrote:
“Chad deeply valued his privacy. I wasn’t privy to the details of his illness. After his family released their statement, I realized that he was living with his illness the entire time I knew him. Because he was a caretaker, a leader, and a man of faith, dignity, and pride, he shielded his collaborators from his suffering. He lived a beautiful life. And he made great art. Day after day, year after year. That was who he was. He was an epic firework display. I will tell stories about being there for some of the brilliant sparks till the end of my days. What an incredible mark he’s left for us.”
“In African cultures, we often refer to loved ones that have passed on as ancestors. Sometimes you are genetically related. Sometimes you are not. I had the privilege of directing scenes of Chad’s character, T’Challa, communicating with the ancestors of Wakanda. We were in Atlanta, in an abandoned warehouse, with bluescreens, and massive movie lights, but Chad’s performance made it feel real. I think it was because, from the time that I met him, the ancestors spoke through him. It’s no secret to me now how he was able to skillfully portray some of our most notable ones. I had no doubt that he would live on and continue to bless us with more. But it is with a heavy heart and a sense of deep gratitude to have ever been in his presence, that I have to reckon with the fact that Chad is an ancestor now. And I know that he will watch over us until we meet again.”
As highly emotional the year 2020 has been, it’s in the remembrance of the many people we’ve loved and lost this year that help us make love and light. Boseman passing from colon cancer has illuminated the fact that Black men are disproportionately affected by this illness in our country.
As next year’s Black History Month is also Colon Cancer Prevention Month, let’s remember Chadwick Boseman’s legacy as we celebrate health and awareness kindly, casually and compassionately.
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