Updated: Sep 22, 2020
I did not know of Chadwick Boseman back in the day. I had been dimly aware of his work over the years before he worked with Marvel. I’d seen him in various TV shows, but didn’t pay much attention until the movie, Get on Up.
What a performance that was. Chadwick lit up the screen, and made it seem effortless. I mean he was a natural actor. Chadwick captured the complexities of James Brown. His work in that movie never felt forced, and those moves. He got the Father of Souls’ moves down. Like canned heat in them platform heels, but he wasn’t a one-hit wonder. No sir! He came back with the movie, 42. I feel he captured Jackie Robinson so well. I didn’t know Jackie Robinson at all, but my mom had. She worked for him and often assured me that Mr. Robinson was a genuinely nice man. That came across in Chadwick’s portrayal of him. And along came the movie Thurgood. He played those parts to the hilt, but I‘d wondered was he tired of playing historical figures then? Hollywood tapped his shoulder to play those parts because let’s face it non-melanated screenwriters didn’t know how to write for actors of color. What a shame. By the way, that was a mere five years ago. Now melanated people have been discovered like Christopher Columbus supposedly discovered America. Oh boy…
Finally, Mr. Boseman’s big break came with Captain America: Civil War. Marvel gave us a glimpse of T’Challa, the Black Panther and future ruler of Wakanda. I gotta confess, when Chadwick appeared on the screen it was like a bolt of lightening struck me. Chris Evans muscles though tastey, didn’t compare to the force of Nature that was Chadwick. The way he fought The Winter Soldier - a fluid extension of a cat and such menace! Amazing! And then homeboy had the nerve to follow Iron Man in his personal jet. It was next level amazement and madness in a good way.
Then we finally got to see him play the new King of Wakanda in his own movie. Did you cheer when that happened? Did you lose your mind during the opening credits? He played trying to be a good king and a good man simultaneously incredibly well. He gave the character grace, wisdom, courage, humility... Yeah, goosebumps on my arms for days.
Reports said that he was diagnosed with colon cancer while filming Black Panther? How does one have the presence of mind to fully commit to a performance of that weight while fighting a serious illness? Who does that? Chadwick Boseman, that’s who. I know he had support from his family and his fiancé. What knocks me back on my heels is that he never revealed he had cancer, not even to the Marvel execs. What? Sovereignty anyone?
How do you keep that a secret? How? Howwww? He filmed more movies while fighting for his life, such as 21 Bridges, Da Five Bloods, and MaRainey’s Black Bottom. We’ve all seen the clip of him on Sway in the Morning overcome by grief for the two young boys who had fought to stay alive to watch Black Panther. Unfortunately, they'd had succumbed to that damned illness before the movie was released. Fuck!! He knew he had a long fight ahead of him. It takes a special person who is fighting cancer to bring joy to kids who are also fighting cancer.
It brings life into sharper focus, doesn’t it? The being we knew as Chadwick Boseman was a special person without question. So special that he perfectly timed these benchmarks of greatness and kingship.
Why do I say that? I feel that in the life before life, he, the soul we knew of as Chadwick, sat down with the soul of Jackie Robinson, James Brown, and Thurgood Marshall and said he would portray them on film with the dignity and respect they deserved. He then turned to his family, the souls of his family members that is, and most likely said, "before I return here to life before life this is what I will accomplish. Please help me." And they agreed. Does that resonate in you? He died on Jackie Robinson day for fuck’s sake, and Seshat recorded it all in the Akashic records before he came down to earth.
Chadwick was touted as the king, and I think he was. He was the prototype men should follow and women should seek out. Did you all catch one of his indie movies called the Return of the King? Notice the title. It’s on Netflix. You might be able to find it on iTunes, also. Then another gift from Beyonce, the Black is King visual album. The Wakanda we should have gotten years ago, but didn’t cuz, you know, Mickey wasn't seeing brown and dollar signs as viable together.…
You may call all of this coincidence, but I call it predestined synchronicities. He planned this all before his body was born-just before his soul dropped in or maybe much later when he said “Ma” for the first time becoming fully conscious. The synchronicity is that all of these timed events fell neatly in place. He was supposed to show us what courage is. He was supposed to show us what a king is to inspire us. Chadwick did those amazing performances and brought the first black comic book character to life for the culture. Dudes, he completed his mission for the African-American, Warshitaw, black culture. He is my Cultural Ancestor now, and every day I thank him for showing us what leadership, courage, and kingship are.
Condolences, love, and light to the Boseman family.