Chadwick Boseman’s Death Shocks Countless Fans

Sarah Fidahussain, Student Life Editor

The unforeseen news of Chadwick Boseman’s passing on Aug. 28 shocked fans across the globe.

Boseman died from colon cancer, which no one knew he was battling, according to BBC.

Best known for starring as T’Challa in “Black Panther,” his influence as the first black superhero was enormous to people of every race.

For many, Boseman embodied the diversity that films needed.

According to BBC, Boseman said that “Black Panther” reinvented what it meant to be “young, gifted and black,” and for fans, like senior Arianna Winters, it was just that.

“As a [person of color] who had enjoyed superhero movies but always felt excluded considering there weren’t many POC heroes that made it to the big screen, seeing Boseman play Black Panther made me feel truly represented for the first time,” Winters said.

Boseman was more of a symbol for senior David Bond; he was “a great role model for kids of the next generation.”

“As a POC, he definitely inspired a whole generation to go out and be bigger than themselves and do good to make this world better,” Bond said. “And from what I’ve seen, from the people that knew him the most, he was genuinely a really nice guy.”

Senior Logan Swanner, like many other fans, did not want to believe the news of Boseman’s death.

“It honestly broke my heart,” Swanner said. “He was an inspiration to so many young kids, especially POC, and brought joy and happiness to so many people.”

Sophomore Maddox Karnes, who is a long-time fan of Marvel, was dumbfounded when he heard of Boseman’s passing.

“He was someone I and many others viewed as a ‘superhero’ on and off the screen so it just felt like there was no way he could really be gone. It was and still is super devastating to know such an amazing person and a man who meant so much to so many people is no longer with us,” Karnes said.

Knowing Boseman was acting all while struggling with colon cancer, senior Will Kirk is even more overwhelmed by his death.

“He was such a kind and courageous man, and carried himself with dignity until the end,” Kirk said. “He acted in seven movies in the past four years, doing an amazing job in all of them, all while battling cancer. Not to mention he made sure to visit children’s cancer hospitals, the doctors and children not even knowing that he too was fighting cancer.”

Many celebrities have also posted tributes to him, including Former President Barack Obama.

Obama posted on Instagram a picture of him and Boseman with the caption, “You could tell right away that he was blessed. To be young, gifted, and Black; to use that power to give them heroes to look up to; to do it all while in pain – what a use of his years.”

While this is a time of grieving, many are still pondering the question: who will be in the “Black Panther” sequel?

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney is juggling the option of replacing Boseman or having T’Challa’s sister take over the role of Black Panther.

Fans will be outraged if they simply try to replace Boseman but as mentioned in The Hollywood Reporter, having T’Challa’s sister become the Black Panther parallels one of the comic book storylines so it seems to be a safer decision.

With filming was meant to begin in September, there is much indecision about what will happen to the film and how Disney will honor Boseman. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney sources are saying their emphasis is on how to honor Boseman instead of the sequel.