Although most of us know that Chadwick Boseman, who died Friday night at the young age of 43 due to aggressive Colon Cancer, only played Black Panther in a movie, for most of us it feels like the actual superhero Black Panther died.
Chadwick was bigger than life. He was more than an actor, he was an image that projected, Jackie Robinson, James Brown, Thurgood Marshall and The Black Panther.
He stood for OUR black heroes.
My son called me up seconds after I had heard the news about Boseman and said, “Damn, first it was Kobie, then John Lewis and now Black Panther, damn, we can’t catch a break all our heroes dying.”
When I considered what’s going on in the streets of this nation today, I understood completely where he was coming from. All of our heroes are dying, and though George Floyd and Jacob Blake were not heroes in the traditional sense, they became heroes to us. They stood for us. They looked like us and now they were killed or damn near killed for being one of us.
“Even though we knew that Black Panther was like a fictional story, it actually felt real. It actually felt like we finally had our Black Superhero and nobody could touch us. So to lose that it’s sad in our community,” Lebron James said.
“It’s a lot to unpack,” said Chris Paul, Oklahoma City Thunder guard. Chadwick was a special guy. I think everyone took it hard, especially the Black community. That was one of our Black superheroes. I think Black Panther was so powerful, for himself along with my kids to see a superhero that looks like them and the way he played with such class and elegance. That was tough.”
“We could easily say, ‘Oh, my God. This is the most terrible year that existed.’ But I choose not to say that,” said Martin Luther King Jr’s son. “Our ancestors had to go through so, so much. And yet, we’re still here. We are nowhere where we need to be, but are always making progress and moving ahead.”
I watched the news this Sunday morning on CBS and naturally they did a story on Chadwick Boseman, when I heard the story again after sleeping on it a night, I cried.
Grown ass man like me cried and when I told my friends of my reaction one said, “I cried too, man. Thank you for saying that.” Obviously he would have never said that to anyone himself, him being a man. But this thing, this death of Bosman has hit us all in a very unique way.
I don’t know if it’s us being cooped up in the house for so long from Covid 19, or the demonstrations, or Trump sounding his racist horn again, or what. But this one feels not only disheartening, but leaves most black people with a hopeless feeling. We’re tired, sick and tired of losing our rights, our lives and our heroes. But hopefully, we shall never lose our resolve to overcome.
To see more of Jim Glover’s writings please check out his novel “Mad Man” on amazon or wherever books are sold.