Samuel L. Jackson has paid his respects to Marvel co-star Chadwick Boseman, whose untimely passing at the age of 43 shocked us all. The Pulp Fiction actor tweeted his gratitude to Boseman, thanking him for everything he gave the world, saying:
THANK YOU @chadwickboseman for all you gave us. We needed it & will always cherish it! A talented & giving artist & brother who will be sorely missed RIP
The list of public figures to have made their appreciation for Boseman known just gets bigger and bigger. What’s truly striking is the diversity of fields they represent – F1 drivers, footballers, former presidents. If Boseman could only have seen the depth of his impact, the walks of life he managed to reach, I doubt he would’ve believed it.
Though his performances as Jackie Robinson and James Brown made a big impression on the film community, it was his role as the King of Wakanda that brought his name into the mainstream – a role that’ll keep him there for posterity. Black Panther was a billion dollar blockbuster, but that betrays less than you’d think. After all, Marvel movies eat billions for breakfast. So, what made this unassuming hero different?
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Well, Black Panther represented the first time black identity was granted the power of the Hollywood machine, one of the longest-enduring, and most permeating social transmitters. It found the masses, and the masses found a face in Boseman, with whom this cultural watershed will always be associated.
In the end, the film itself is actually one of the less remarkable aspects of the story, a blockbuster whose essentials became less important than what it represented. Plot-thin Marvel fare with formulaic story beats and some ropey CGI? Yeah, sure it was. But you know what, so what? Some things are bigger than criticism, and Chadwick Boseman‘s legacy is a testament to that. Just look at the response to his passing.