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The world mourns the passing of the legendary Chadwick Boseman, who played the role of ‘Black Panther’ in 2018.
Black Panther was the first black, mainstream superhero that was brought into existence by Marvel. This character resonated in the hearts of all black communities as he became the first superhero black children could identify as.
When the movie hit theatres early 2018, there was a worldwide rush of excitement and feeling of liberation. Even at the local cinemas, it was evident the impact the movie made on Afro-Guyanese, as they flocked the cinema, all decked in their African culture attire to get a chance to watch the movie that glorifies their culture.
Black Panther even became the longest showing movie at the theatre as it was sold out for months, before it was taken off the schedule. ‘Wakanda Forever’ then became the household phrase.
The news of his passing broke on Friday evening when his managers posted on his page: “It is with immeasurable grief that we confirm the passing of Chadwick Boseman. Chadwick was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016, and battled with it these last 4 years as it progressed to stage IV. A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much. From Marshall to Da 5 Bloods, August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and several more, all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy.
It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther. He died in his home, with his wife and family by his side. The family thanks you for your love and prayers, and asks that you continue to respect their privacy during this difficult time.”
A shock wave ran through social media as millions of people worldwide posted the news in disbelief. Former President, Barack Obama posted “Chadwick came to the White House to work with kids when he was playing Jackie Robinson. You could tell right away that he was blessed. To be young, gifted, and Black; to use that power to give them heroes to look up to; to do it all while in pain – what a use of his years.”
Renowned South African public figure, Trevor Noah said “Yes this was our king. Not because we served him or because he ruled. But because of how he served us in everything he did. He played a hero on screen and lived like one in real life. From South Carolina to South Africa he made so many of us proud of who we are and for that he will always be our king. Hamba kahle Chadwick…Sizoku bona phambili.”
Many parents posted photos on social media of their children in tears, as they have lost their superhero idol. Guyanese at home and in the diaspora have also been sharing on social media, their favorite scenes of the superhero while expressing the impact he made in the industry.
The legacy of Chadwick Boseman will never die.