Remembering Chadwick Boseman: Latinx leaders offer condolences
Chadwick Boseman is honored by Latinx leaders who believe his legacy will live on. His career broke barriers, but there is room to be made in representation.
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Chadwick Boseman’s death from cancer blindsided the world. The actor played Black icons Jackie Robinson, James Brown, and inspired millions as the Black Panther in Marvel’s history-making film.
Boseman’s death is a devastating loss to the Black community, who were finally able to see themselves represented in a blockbuster film. He will be remembered as an incredible talent who brought his gift to inspire masses in meaningful and historic films.
As soon as his death was confirmed on Aug. 28, Latinx leaders across the country expressed their condolences, and remembered his legacy.
“Chadwick Boseman was an inspiration to millions who saw themselves represented on screen like never before and a ceaseless advocate for greater diversity in Hollywood,” tweeted the Hispanic Caucus.
“We mourn his passing and are grateful he shared his gifts with the world. Rest in Power,” the caucus continued.
Chadwick Boseman was an inspiration to millions who saw themselves represented on screen like never before and a ceaseless advocate for greater diversity in Hollywood.— Hispanic Caucus (@HispanicCaucus) August 29, 2020
We mourn his passing and are grateful he shared his gifts with the world. Rest in Power. https://t.co/NQWQco7lnj
“May Chadwick Boseman Rest in Power. #WakandaForever,” wrote Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-Tx).
Former Democratic Presidential candidate Julián Castro added his condolences upon hearing of Boseman’s untimely death, and focused on the impact his short career was able to make in terms of visibility for Black culture.
“Chadwick was a larger-than-life performer who inspired so many, on and off the screen,” wrote Castro.
“He broke barriers and helped the world celebrate Black culture. May he rest in peace and in the hearts of millions,” he continued.
While not a monolith, Black Americans had been deprived of a nearly all Black cast before Black Panther hit the screens. There’s still considerable work to be done in order to develop more stories for Black Americans to play, but Boseman used the few years he had left to break barriers and inspire.
To honor Boseman’s legacy, the gaps still present in representation must be met.
No longer should Black actors be limited to biopics and background characters. Films like Black Panther, Moonlight, and films by director Jordan Peele are paving the way to increasing representation on screen.
But it can’t be limited to a handful of works each year. To pay Boseman adequate respect, there needs to be more room for Black directors, Black actors, Black screenwriters, and more. May he rest in peace.