“Our Treasure” by Butch Ford
It was 6 am Saturday, August 29, 2020…and the news of the sudden passing of Chadwick Boseman essentially shook me to my core. It felt like a family member was taken away. At 43 years young, he made his mark in the African American culture in so many ways.
He portrayed the iconic roles of Jackie Robinson, James Brown, Thurgood Marshall, and my favorite…the convincing and believable King T’Challa in Marvel’s’ The Black Panther. He made us beam with pride as he gave children of color a superhero we would identify with and be proud of. He brought the fictitious Wakanda to life and into our hearts and culture. He had everyone doing the handshake greeting, followed by the arms crossing the chest.
As a black man, 2020 has knocked me to my knees more times then I care to discuss. From the pandemic to the current administration and the clown-like antics of the arch-enemy/villain #45 and his divisive underhanded, racist agenda. It’s a day to day struggle just having to wake up and face the day’s ills as a black man in Trump’s America.
As that kid who wanted to be a superhero from age four or five…I wish I had the lightning-fast speed of The Black Panther, to outrun the bullshit I’m faced with daily. It’s difficult waking up black in a country that doesn’t value or respect me and having the strength, endurance, and durability to carry an entire race on my back as we fight for justice & equality. I wish I could possess the power of his suit (with Vibranium weaved into the fabric) and absorb kinetic energy or energy in motion to use when the weight of the world is on my shoulders daily.
The point I’m making is, Mr. Boseman is yet another jewel our community has lost way too soon. He touched so many lives at such a young age with his talent. And he’ll be remembered and treasured for his excellence in the way he portrayed some of our greatest heroes. We will forever carry you in our hearts and souls, young brother.
Although we’re mourning and may disagree, I guess your work here was done. Rest peacefully. Wakanda Forever!