Editor’s Note: The sudden passing of Black Panther actor Chadwick Aaron Boseman (November 29, 1976 – August 28, 2020) yesterday shocked the world and broke hearts around the globe. We at Redmangoreviews were also affected and wanted to add a voices to the beautiful flood of tributes.
Alice Oscura – Featured Writer
Today fans all over the world are still reeling with the sad news of actor Chadwick Boseman’s death. We all know him for his iconic role as T’Challa in Black Panther, but the actor has also played a few historical figures. One of which co-incidentally celebrates their birthday today. It’s Jackie Robinson Day and all the baseball players who have games to play today wear his number 42, which is the only number to be permanently retired from the baseball league. Chadwick’s portrayal of Baseball Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson in 42 still gives me goosebumps to this day. In honour of the actor the baseball players said that today they not only wear the number 42 as a tribute to Jackie but to Chadwick as well.
The talented actor has also been singer James Brown and Thurgood Marshall (Marshall was the Supreme Court’s first African American justice). I think that his choice for playing such influential roles says a lot about the person that he was. He obviously was not someone that drew attention to his health situation just to look for sympathy from the world. He suffered and battled in silence. Cancer has taken away so many lives prematurely. At least in Chadwick’s case he may be gone but his talent and legacy through his movies will live on.
His final film, Ma Rainey’s Black Buttom, will be released posthumously on Netflix. Variety writes that the talented actor had the ability to fuse with a role so well enabling it to have three dimensions, and it’s what makes him an artist and a movie star. I have to say that I couldn’t agree more.
Rest In Peace with your ancestors Chadwick. Wakanda Forever!!!
Sommerleigh Pollonais – Senior Writer
I won’t sit here and pretend I was a huge Chadwick Boseman fan. That would be a disservice to him and to his many die-hard fans out there. What I was and am is a movie lover, one who recognises when someone is more than just a celebrity; when they’re an artist. And Chadwick Boseman was an artist and so much more. Like most people, I found out about Boseman when he played Jackie Robinson in 42 and I remember his eccentric role in Gods of Egypt, where he played Thoth, the only Egyptian God that actually looked like he could be from Egypt. Then came a film called Captain America: Civil War and the world was introduced, truly introduced to Chadwick Boseman as Prince (and later King) T’Challa aka Black Panther.
This is when I sat up and took notice, not just of the character brought to life on screen with all the traits you want your heroes to have, Dignity, Intelligence, Charisma and Pride, but of Chadwick Boseman himself. It didn’t take me long to realise these traits came through because the man behind the mask embodied all of them in his everyday life.
Already having played iconic black men like Jackie Robinson and James Brown, he became one and provided a source of pride to the black community and a real life hero young black men and women could look up to and aspire to be like.
The fact he was battling cancer secretly all that time speaks volumes to the kind of man he was. A man who put the needs of others before himself, who understood the importance his very presence and actions had on his community and who did everything in his power to ensure he made a positive impact on this world before he left for another one.
When I heard the news of his passing I felt his loss as if I had personally known him myself. My mother always says, “when we’re gone all we leave behind is memories, so make them good ones for the people around you”. Chadwick Boseman was living proof of that statement and the impact he left behind will be felt for years to come.
Rest in Peace and May Angels sing thee to thy rest.
Julien Neaves – Editor
Like Sommer I can’t claim to be a diehard fan of Chadwick Boseman the actor. I loved in the MCU and I had always been meaning to get around to checking him out in other roles. So why did the news of his death feel like a personal loss?
Some people are critical when they see their friends mourning celebrities. “It’s not like you knew them personally” and that sort of thing. But you don’t have to know someone personally for them to affect you or mean something to you. And Chadwick Boseman meant something to me and a lot of other people. I personally saw when Black Panther came out and people went to the cinema in Trinidad dressed in African-styled wear. They were just proud of a film with a proud African hero that presented African royalty, even if the world was fictitious. And that would not have been possible if Boseman did not infuse the character with a regality and a stature befitting of a king.
And it was clear by his choice to play people like Jackie Brown, Thurgood Marshall and James Brown that he wanted to play black characters that made history and shook the world. And black people around the world could see that and be proud and be inspired.
I also admired Boseman off the screen as well. There was a realness and a humility that came out in his interviews which is very rare for Hollywood. He was even willing to go on Saturday Night Live and poke a little fun at himself. Not everyone can do that. So maybe that’s why his death hit us all so hard. We got a glimpse of the real him and it feels like he has been torn away from us. His death is a loss to film, the black community and to all of us. Our hearts go out to his family and friends. But like the Black Panther title his legacy will live on forever.