Chadwick Boseman’s death is hitting kids especially hard
The news of Chadwick Boseman’s death is sending shock waves throughout Hollywood and with fans of the Black Panther star. It’s also having a devastating impact on kids, especially Black kids, who looked up to the very first Black Marvel superhero and are now coming to grips with the fact that he is gone.
The actor passed away after a four year battle with colon cancer. Boseman is best known for his iconic role as King T’Challa in Black Panther but he graced us with other movies like 21 Bridges, Marshall, 42, and Da 5 Bloods in his short life. He was just 43 years old.
Families began taking to social media shortly after learning about his death to share their thoughts and the impact his life and death have taken on their kids.
I keep thinking about my 3-year-old in his Black Panther costume. How he wore it almost every day when he got it, refused to take it off. The way he walked around saying “I’m the Black Panther.” How happy it made him. What Chadwick gave us was immeasurable. What an enormous loss.
— Clint Smith (@ClintSmithIII) August 29, 2020
Chadwick Boseman is a big reason why our kids don’t have to wonder about what a Black superhero is.
— Brian Josephs (@Bklyn_Rock) August 29, 2020
My son did the same thing…had his costume on everyday after school pic.twitter.com/rZBgUqmQKg
— 🗣 𝒟𝒶𝓌𝓃𝒰𝓃ℰ𝒹𝒾𝓉ℯ𝒹 (@MissSunniD) August 29, 2020
My son played his first violin recital in a Black Panther custome. pic.twitter.com/jrJj5LbjTC
— Scottie Hebert (@SaintMyFault) August 29, 2020
I am sick and stunned to hear of Chadwick Baseman’s death. His excellence in his role of T’challa will live on in the hearts of Black people forever. His role inspired hope and pride that meant the world to me.… https://t.co/uihpb3v7Er
— Kids Opera & Art Posse (@kaopweb) August 29, 2020
The thing that almost broke me last night, when @ThatKevinSmith were eulogizing Chadwick Boseman, was the thought of so many kids who saw themselves in a hero for the first time—and how they had to wrestle with their first senseless celebrity death. Kids like my son.
— Thiccolas Cage (@marcbernardin) August 29, 2020
“It is with immeasurable grief that we confirm the passing of Chadwick Boseman,” read the statement his family gave following his death. “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,” the statement continued.
Not only was he a hero for Black kids everywhere, he also helped kids who were suffering from their own battle with cancer. In a clip from 2018, Boseman broke down in tears while talking about two children with cancer who he’d been speaking to while getting ready to film Black Panther.
Chadwick said that the two boys, Ian and Taylor, who were terminally ill, were excited about seeing the movie come to life. “Their parents said, ‘They’re trying to hold on till this movie comes.’…To a certain degree, you hear them say that and you’re like, ‘Wow. I gotta get up and go to the gym. I gotta get up and go to work. I gotta learn these lines. I gotta work on this accent,” he said. “To a certain degree, it’s a humbling experience, because you’re like, ‘This can’t mean that much to them.’ You know?”
Boseman made history as the first Black superhero to headline a Marvel film. Entertainment Weekly reported that he was expected to return as King T’Challa in Black Panther 2, though it hadn’t begun filming.
Boseman will be immeasurably missed by all those that loved him and by those who finally saw themselves in a real-life superhero.