The US actor Chadwick Boseman, best known for playing Black Panther in the hit Marvel superhero franchise, has died of cancer aged 43.

Boseman has battled colon cancer since 2016 and died at home with his family and wife by his side, according to a statement made on social media.

“A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much”, his family said in a statement. “

Most white people do not realize this or do not take the time to really think about it, but mass media is filled with people who look exactly like them. Every day, the culture reflects not only you but nearly infinite versions of you – executives, poets, Billionaires, soldiers, teachers and so on. The world shows you that your possibility is endless and limitless. 

However, those of us that are not white have a hard time finding good representation of ourselves in mass media and other arenas of public life. Even as kids we programmed to think that a princess in movies and books are supposed to be white. Relating to characters onscreen is necessary not merely for us to feel seen and understood, but also for others who need to see and understand us. When it doesn’t happen, we are all poorer for it. 

That is one of the many reasons why what Boseman has done with the movie “Black Panther” was so significant. It’s a movie about what it means to be black in both America and Africa – and more broadly in the world. It has given a lot of black kids around the globe a person to look up to and aspire to become.

More than that, it will “forever end the myth that a black superhero action character written by a black writer, directed by a black director, starring a majority black cast … won’t sell outside the black community,” said Jesse Holland, a journalist tapped by Marvel to update Black Panther´s back story.

We live in a time where there is a need for empowerment of various underserved groups. Nobody could have foreseen that Chadwick Boseman from Anderson South Carolina would bring the antidote to our society and remind the world about the unfairness against blacks but what Boseman has done to the movie industry (Hollywood) will continue to live on forever.


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