Biden, Harris offer tributes to ‘Black Panther’ star Chadwick Boseman

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), offered tributes to “Black Panther” star Chadwick Boseman after the 43-year-old actor died from cancer.

Boseman was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer four years ago, according to a statement posted to the actor’s Twitter account on Friday night confirming his death.

Biden praised Boseman for encouraging generations of people to be anything they want, “even super heroes.” 

“The true power of @ChadwickBoseman was bigger than anything we saw on screen,” Biden wrote on Twitter. “From the Black Panther to Jackie Robinson, he inspired generations and showed them they can be anything they want — even super heroes. Jill and I are praying for his loved ones at this difficult time.”

As news of his death emerged, many social media users noted that Boseman’s last tweet was a picture of himself with Harris after she was announced as Biden’s VP pick.

Harris, a fellow Howard University graduate, said she was “heartbroken” by the news of his death.

“My friend and fellow Bison Chadwick Boseman was brilliant, kind, learned, and humble. He left too early but his life made a difference. Sending my sincere condolences to his family,” she tweeted.

Boseman’s last post encouraged his 1.8 million Twitter followers to vote in November, using the hashtag for former first lady Michelle Obama’s initiative When We All Vote.

A vocal supporter of voting rights, Boseman appeared in a public service announcement with March For Our Lives student activists before the November 2018 midterms to talk about “their first time” at the ballot box.

A clip of Boseman’s comments from the PSA went viral after his death.

“Anything else you want to say from the heart?” the director asked.

“All that 70 million group of young people who will come out and vote — I believe in you,” Boseman said. “I think you can turn our nation around. You can make it live up to what it is supposed to do. It’s not just that you are the future, you are actually the present. You are actually what we are supposed to be at this moment. And the fact that you have a voice, the fact that you can have a say.

“Vote for whoever you want. Vote for what you believe in,” he added. “I believe the majority of you can see what’s actually happening and you want things to change. So I say all that to say, you know, thank you in advance for your input and the victory that is to come.”

“Black Panther” was one of the highest-grossing superhero films and was the first Marvel movie to feature a majority-Black cast.

The blockbuster was used by activist group Electoral Justice Project as a massive voter registration effort called #WakandaTheVote aimed at Black voters.

Boseman’s death came on MLB’s Jackie Robinson Day, when every player wears No. 42 to honor the league’s first Black player. Boseman portrayed the legendary Brooklyn Dodger in the film “42.”

He also portrayed iconic Black Americans on screen amid his battle with cancer, including the nation’s first Black Supreme Court Justice, Thurgood Marshall, and the “Godfather of Soul,” singer and songwriter James Brown.

Boseman’s death also came as thousands of people gathered in Washington, D.C., on Friday to march against racial injustice and police brutality, an event that also commemorated the anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington and Martin Luther King Jr.’s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech.

Martin Luther King III thanked Boseman for bringing “history to life on the silver screen.”

“And despite his 4 year long battle with cancer, he kept fighting and he kept inspiring. He will be missed,” the civil rights leader wrote.

Boseman invited the family of Trayvon Martin, the Black unarmed teenager who was fatally shot by then-neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in 2012, to the premiere of the movie “Marshall” in 2017. 

Ben Crump, the civil rights lawyer who represents the family of George Floyd and other high-profile victims of police brutality, also attended the premiere with Boseman and shared a tribute.

“It goes to show that tomorrow isn’t promised. Rest in power, Chadwick,” Crump wrote.

Tags Joe Biden Michelle Obama

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video