Chadwick Boseman redefined ‘doing it for the culture’

Chadwick Boseman holding up the “Wakanda Forever” salute. Photo courtesy Celebrity Insider

If the year 2020 has taught me nothing else so far, it has taught me to make sure I love hard and vocalize my love more than my hate. Oddly enough, that’s the lesson I learned from Chadwick Boseman’s life that ended on August 28.

Boseman was an amazing actor, director and writer, but even more he was and still is a cultural icon and inspiration. His four-year battle with colon cancer has shown me what ‘doing it for the culture’ truly means. He handled his condition with remarkable courage.

Boseman embodied fearlessness on the big screen. He was casted as African American legends Jackie Robinson in the 2013 film “42,” James Brown in “Get On Up” and Thurgood Marshall in “Marshall.” His most powerful role, however, was King T’Challa in the 2018 box office hit “Black Panther.”

“Fearlessness means taking the first step, even if you don’t know where it will take you,” Boseman said, as the commencement speaker at Howard University in 2018. “It means being driven by a higher purpose, rather than by applause. It means knowing that you reveal your character when you stand apart, more than when you stand with the crowd.”

With his constant heroics on camera, his biggest act was how he handled the tough role of being himself. From 2016 to 2020, while fighting cancer, Boseman gave the world marvelous, accurate depictions of Black excellence, and gave Black culture—our culture countless hours of dedication, love, and strength that we can pass down to generations.

Writer and editor for VICE News, Brian Josephs tweeted, “Chadwick Boseman is a big reason why our kids don’t have to wonder about what a Black superhero is. And he did it facing death.”

That sums up what a true hero is and that is Boseman’s legacy.

He was the first African American superhero this generation has ever seen. In the history of film, Blackness had never been celebrated to that degree and we have Boseman to credit for leading the charge to the much needed change.

Mayor of Anderson told local news sources, “He really made an impact on not only the entertainment field but worldwide for people of color who look up to him and emulate what he did.”

Boseman left a legacy of strength, dedication, and Black power for many to follow and I, personally, will be following the Chadwick Boseman blueprint when ‘doing it for the culture.’