‘Black Panther’ icon Chadwick Boseman leaves a lasting impact after passing away

The 43-year-old actor loses battle with colon cancer after groundbreaking role as first Black superhero

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courtesy of Jordan Strauss

Sabrina Contreras, Features Editor

Chadwick Boseman, the 43 year-old “Black Panther” star, died on Friday in his home with his wife and family by his side.

His passing may have shocked us all and left many with heavy hearts, but his legacy will live on. 

Boseman was a hero on and off the screen. He managed to appear in three major Marvel movies while battling colon cancer, giving us a groundbreaking and history making performance in “Black Panther.”

He was an inspiration to thousands of people, including his fellow cast members. 

“What a man, and what an immense talent,” actor Mark Ruffalo, who plays the Hulk and acted with Boseman, wrote on Twitter. “Brother, you were one of the all-time greats and your greatness was only the beginning. Lord love ya. Rest in power, King.” 

Ruffalo wasn’t the only Marvel superhero to post his condolences. 

“Chadwick was special. A true original,” tweeted Chris Evans, who plays Captain America and appeared in three films with Boseman. “He was a deeply committed and constantly curious artist. He had so much amazing work still left to create. I’m endlessly grateful for our friendship, Rest in power, King.”

Marvel Studios released a statement stating, “Our hearts are broken and our thoughts are with Chadwick Boseman’s family. Your Legacy will live on forever. Rest in Peace.” 

What Boseman did for the Black community was one of the biggest impacts he had. Black people don’t get nearly enough representation in the media, so being able to star in the hit “Black Panther” with a predominantly Black cast was remarkable. 

A video of Boseman surprising “Black Panther” fans from March 2018 on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon has resurfaced in light of this tragedy. In the video, Boseman is behind a curtain while fans speak out about how “Black Panther” and Boseman’s portrayal of T’Challa impacted them. 

Each of them shared how important it was to be able to see themselves through T’challa and the other characters in the movie. 

One particular set of fans that stood out to me was a Black mom and her son. The mom went on to explain how her son’s childhood was forever changed thanks to Boseman’s performance. She explained how her son was now able to look up to a superhero that looked like him. This boy was probably one out of thousands of other children who were able to look up at the big screen and see themselves as a superhero. 

Not only did the movie make cultural history, but it made cinematic history by being the first superhero movie to be nominated for Best Picture by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Boseman had a huge role in making that happen. 

Boseman fought against cancer in real life while fighting for Wakanda on screen, giving us a cinematic masterpiece. He is the definition of a superhero and although he is gone, Boseman’s legacy will live on forever.