It has been over 2 years since the American actor Chadwick Boseman passed away. However, he has made a lasting impression on people from all around the world through his stellar performances, one of which also includes being the superhero, Black Panther. One way that we can continue to remember him is to acknowledge how he prioritised highlighting his characters’ heritages in his work. So, this article focuses on how Boseman is an example of how to remember who you are.
What Chadwick Boseman Did to Help Improve the Narrative of Racial Minorities in Fictional Works
Various stereotypes exist of people of colour in popular culture, including Black people. When Chadwick was a part of the film and TV industry, he wanted to change some of the prevailing narratives regarding Black people. He was also fired from his role in the soap All My Children at age 26 because he explained that he did not want to play the role of a teen thug.
That was only one incident in which he wanted to diversify the kind of roles that black people could perform. He also wanted his work in film and TV to showcase the complexities that exist within racially-marginalized communities. Thus, that was predominantly what drove him toward a role—not money. An excellent example of this is the film Marshall. Financially, the film did not do too well but did well critically. It was focused on racial prejudice, and that’s one of the reasons why Chadwick starred in it.
He also, of course, became a superhero. However, even that role, while lucrative, was focused on the black experience in different cultures. It showed a level of diversity and complexity that is not typically present in films of that scale. He continued to pursue more works that diversified the narratives of black people in pop culture through his work in Da 5 Bloods.
What We Can Take Away from the Life of Chadwick Boseman
Chadwick Boseman has taught all of us a very valuable lesson: the importance of remembering who we are. Often, we try to change ourselves to match the expectations and wants of others. However, we then compromise our own authenticity. Chadwick was a self-aware man, and he knew he had opportunities to help showcase sides of black communities that were otherwise absent in pop culture.
So, instead of running away from his heritage and identity, he embraced it and wanted to help improve the image of his people. That is an inspiring act, and it can do wonders for helping us grow closer to people as well. At the same time, it can instill a degree of confidence that we may not have otherwise possessed. When you embrace who you are, you are no longer fighting yourself. In turn, you can feel confident in your abilities and your decisions.