Remembering the Life and Legacy of Chadwick Boseman
by Latrese Thomas



September 1, 2020


10 Minute Read


Remembering the Life and Legacy of Chadwick Boseman

Chadwick Boseman (Courtesy of Getty Images)
Chadwick Boseman attending the European Premiere of “Black Panther” on February 8, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Disney)

On Friday, August 28, the world learned of Chadwick Boseman’s passing and his four-year battle with colon cancer. As our community is still in mourning, it’s been hard to put into words the impact this man encapsulated in his 43 short years on earth.

Although the words escape many of us as we try to describe this tremendous loss, writer Latrese Thomas was able to put pen to paper and beautifully express our thoughts as a collective. At the same time, celebrating Boseman’s legacy and remembering his lasting footprint as our brother, an icon, and real-life superhero. That is why it was important for us to share her loving tribute to the Boseman family with our BlackLove.com audience.

To The Boseman Family

To Taylor,

You haven’t the slightest idea who I am yet I feel such a strong connection to you in this moment. Maybe it’s the empath in me or the fact that we are both black wives. Whatever the connection I needed to write to you, I pray somehow this finds you.

Over the last 48 hrs., I’ve really been trying to process the passing of your husband, Chadwick, Black Panther as many of us affectionately referred to him. (Even speaking in past tense seems unreal). We obviously, at first, think of how his death impacts us, our children, our culture. He is an icon!

After I paused and processed that for a minute, I immediately began to proceed into a feeling of how YOU must be feeling. I can’t even pretend that I understand what the last 4 years have been like for you. Bittersweet doesn’t seem like it’s comprehensive enough to describe it. You watched the man you love reach a level of success on HIS terms, not compromising his morals or beliefs; exactly as he had prayed for. At the same time, unbeknownst to the world, he was also fighting the physical battle of his life with colon cancer. The strength the two of you embody, TOGETHER, exemplifies Black Love.

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Chadwick Boseman (Credit: chadwickboseman/Instagram)
Credit: @chadwickboseman/Instagram

I imagine that moving forward looks completely different for us than it does for you. Certain movies may remind you of a time when he had just completed treatment or had just recovered from a surgery. Times when he felt sick at home or in his hotel room confiding only in you & your family but honoring us in the most amazing way with the very best of him at his most challenging time of his life.

I apologize for a culture that was quick to judge and joke when they saw his weight begin to fluctuate. It is hard for me not to COME FOR SOMEONE’S SOUL when they mess with my husband, kids or parents so the Queen-like reserve you kept to protect the privacy of his battle, of your battle, is to be admired.

The next days, weeks, months and years will all be new. Your time with him was way too short to our Earthly standards but for some reason, deep inside of me, I know that the two of you loved each other so much and so fully in those years; more than many will in a lifetime.

I know that the two of you loved each other so much and so fully in those years; more than many will in a lifetime.

You will always cross my mind because my kids want to watch Black Panther at least once a month and I shall certainly think of you while thinking of Chadwick. Please know you have a tribe of women, of black wives, out here praying and lifting you up. Thank you, Queen, for being the support he needed so he could give us the portrayal of Black Excellence that WE needed.

To Mr. Leroy and Ms. Carolyn,

Chadwick Boseman with his mother, Carolyn (Credit: meforworld.com/)
Chadwick Boseman with his mom, Carolyn (Credit: meforworld.com/)

You are currently living every parent’s worst nightmare, the death of a child. As a mom to 3 beautiful girls, I have hesitated to feel the depths of what you are feeling, it seems almost unbearable. Based on the type of man Chadwick was, I know that stoic strength, care for his community and unwavering love from his culture came from the two of you.

You did God’s good work in raising him. With every movie he made he operated from a place of concern and integrity. He pursued his passion in spite of an industry that tried to typecast him as something he knew he never wanted to be. He poured back into his community in a way that we will forever be grateful for. If that serves as any solace, I pray that it does.

He poured back into his community in a way that we will forever be grateful for.

Thank you for your creation. Your son’s legacy will go down in history as one of the greats, not simply because of his acting career but because of his character as a man. As a mom, I pray that I am doing my part to raise thoughtful, intelligent and aware members of society.

Job well done and I pray that in the time ahead, as difficult as some days will be, you will feel the love of the world covering you, thinking of you. Thanking you.

To Kevin & Derrick,

I am the baby of my family so I know the feeling of overprotective siblings. I can only imagine how much the two of you wanted to protect Chad at all costs, that’s what big brothers do.

Kevin, being in the entertainment industry as a well respected dancer/actor, I know you felt the weight of the battle that Chadwick was going through in a much different way. Balancing work and your health is a struggle in any occupation but with acting, having to show up day after day to “limit” rumors and speculation with full awareness of the task at hand; had to have been even more challenging. Reading up on your relationship with Chadwick, I hope you were a shoulder he could lean on. How you managed to not Knuck if you Buckon those speaking ill of your brother at his most vulnerable; makes me in awe of you.

Your son’s legacy will go down in history as one of the greats, not simply because of his acting career but because of his character as a man.

Chadwick Boseman (Credit: chadwickboseman/Instagram)
Credit: @chadwickboseman/Instagram

Derrick, as a pastor, I pray you are grounded in the transition of life that has occurred. Losing a sibling, I can only imagine, is beyond difficult. Your brother’s life was God’s direct reflection of the love He has for us. To give and show us the testimony of perseverance, hard work, and faith in our own Super Hero was a great gift that I’m not sure many of us deserved but that we all needed.

To the Boseman family, even in his death; Chadwick has managed to unite us all once again. To remind us to walk every day with passion, purpose and vigor. To schedule those doctors’ appointments because we know early detection can be key. To love honestly and fully. To leave a little something to the imagination while still walking in truth.

My prayers are with you all!

Love & Light,

Trese, Unapologetically

This article originally appeared on Unapologetically Living with Trese and has been republished on BlackLove.com with permission.