The Black community is mourning the sad passing of Chadwick Boseman, who died last week after a secret four-year battle with colon cancer.
Chadwick, 43, who often played Black icons, like American Baseball player Jackie Robinson; musician James Brown, and popularly known as King T’Challa in the iconic Black Panther movie, was described as a ‘gentle soul’ and ‘brilliant artist’.
Chadwick was a man of faith, and was raised in a Christian home. He was baptised in South Carolina at Welfare Baptist Church, and according to a post on social media from Pastor Samuel Neely, Boseman’s childhood pastor, Chadwick was very active within the church and the church community, from singing in the choir to working with the youth group.
In 2000, he graduated at Howard University in Washington, DC, and his teacher and mentor, Phylicia Rashad, helped raise funds so that he and some of his classmates could attend the British American Drama Academy in London. They were paid for by actor Denzel Washington, who didn’t know who he was helping at the time. Boseman finally got to meet his secret benefactor at the premier of the Black Panther film in New York. He publicly thanked Denzel Washington for paying for him to go to school. “There is no Black Panther without Denzel Washington,” Boseman said. “And not just because of me, but my whole cast – that generation – stands on your shoulders.” A visibly moved Washington gave Boseman a standing ovation following his speech. Chadwick married his long-time love, Taylor Simone Ledward, in the months before his death. He died at his home, with his wife and family by his side.
Despite his accomplishments in Hollywood, Chadwick often referenced his Christian faith in public, and spoke out about his beliefs and his trust in God.