The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King famously said “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of convenience and comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Taking perspective of the life of Chadwick Boseman- an actor, not a civil rights icon- one may see the personification of that virtuous paragon nonetheless.
Bursting on the scene – literally – as the breaker of Major League Baseball’s color barrier, Jackie Robinson, in 2013’s 42, Boseman blazed a gallant trail inspiring countless men, women, and children around the world. His body of work is flawless, as historical giant attorney and Supreme Court Judge Thurgood Marshall in Marshall, the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, in Get on Up, and an inimitable performance as Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe; roles of real and fictional men who are exemplars of that great preacher from Atlanta’s dream.
Chadwick embodied dignity, charisma, and grace on the silver screen and visiting cancer-stricken children all the while knowingly suffering with the disease. He advocated tirelessly for industry representation in the notoriously discriminatory and nepotistic Film and Television industry. He gave the World everything he had and in an a life span just a few months shy of 43 years, made an impact that many men couldn’t make in a hundred lifetimes. And the World mourns his passing.
One might wonder, ‘what time did such a one as this have for himself?’ In October 2019, Boseman proposed to long-term girlfriend, Taylor Simone Ledward and the two completed their nuptials in a private ceremony earlier this year. The pair had been dating since 2015 according to many reports and had been seen publicly at the NBA All Star Game in Chicago in February. Wedward was at his side in their Los Angeles home when he succumbed to a four-year battle with stage 3 Colon Cancer which progressed to stage 4 a few months ago.
REVEALED! Chadwick Boseman Secretly Married Wife Taylor Simone Before Death – Talka~G~blog https://t.co/eZEGtBB25Z— @talkagblog_official (@talkagblogoffi1) August 29, 2020
Ledward is said to be a Cal Poly Pomona graduate and a singer in her own right, leading the school’s jazz ensemble. Wedward also accompanied Boseman to several public events, such as the 2019 NAACP Image Awards and various industry galas over the course of their 5-year relationship.
2020 has been an exacting year; we’ve paid a heavy toll. The news of Chadwick Boseman’s seemingly premature demise reverberated over the world and social media with numerous tributes coming in from everywhere from politicians to his silver screen contemporaries. An untimely departure strikes us in several ways, reminding of us all of our own mortality and often triggering the personal memories of lost loved ones. It is a cause to remember. But it is cause to celebrate a life well-lived and a spirit that will eternally radiate in the hearts of the masses touched by the gifts which he shared with so liberally.
See full statement released from Boseman’s family below.
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It is with immeasurable grief that we confirm the passing of Chadwick Boseman. Chadwick was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016, and battled with it these last 4 years as it progressed to stage IV. A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much. From Marshall to Da 5 Bloods, August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and several more, all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy. It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther. He died in his home, with his wife and family by his side. The family thanks you for your love and prayers, and asks that you continue to respect their privacy during this difficult time. Photo Credit: @samjonespictures