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Goodbye, Black Panther

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Goodbye, Black Panther 6

The  unexpected death at  age 43  of Chadwick Boseman who played American cinema’s  first black super-hero in  Black Panther  comes as  a complete shock to me.

Really, how  much crueler is 2020 going to get? Boseman’s fans  were   eagerly looking forward to   the Black Panther sequel  which kept getting postponed. Now we  know why. Boseman a super-hero in  real life too, was battling cancer  for  four years. He  never let the world know the pain, the  struggle to remain  physically afloat,one of the world’s sexiest men and all that,  while from inside his physiology  was  giving way.

I remember seeing him on a  talk show last year looking as  fit as  a fiddle  (and probably feeling  like  shit)   promoting  the disappointing  21 Bridges  where  he spoke about physical fitness and  fans  and coping with popularity. Not a peep  into the  monstrous  pain he was  going through.

 To be  a  super-hero on screen is  one  thing. To be able to fight  such a debilitating disease  and  to keep up the  public image  of being in good health  , require  inhuman volumes of strength and courage .

We  salute you, Chadwick. Imagine having to  film a tough physical action film like  21  Bridges  on the streets  of New York when  you were so unwell. The film’s release was delayed several times. Now  we  know why.  I didn’t like the film when I  first saw  it and  I hated  Boseman’s last film the overrated  Netflix-Spike Lee  superhit  Da 5 Bloods .

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But now  I  will go back to both  . Now I know the struggle  and toil that  Boseman put in to these films as he fought off death.Like Christopher Reeve who  remained  Superman  from his wheelchair,  Boseman  will remain  Black Panther  from beyond his death.

Don’t even dare  to replace him with  another black actor.  The  film will flop.

American  has only one black president so far. And  only one  on-screen black  super-hero as well.Interestingly Chadwick Boseman’s  most accomplished   performance  is not as  Black Panther  but as the  controversial American singer  James Brown  in  the 2014 bio-pic  Get On  Up.

There was so much  to do.So much unfinished  business. Chadwick had no right leaving everything so  suddenly.