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.”
The true power of @ChadwickBoseman was bigger than anything we saw on screen. 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.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) August 29, 2020
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.
YES @KamalaHarris! #WhenWeAllVote #Vote2020 pic.twitter.com/iOU3duBAcA
— Chadwick Boseman (@chadwickboseman) August 11, 2020
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.
Heartbroken. 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. pic.twitter.com/C5xGkUi9oZ
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) August 29, 2020
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.”
thank you for this pocket of time you dedicated to organizing with radical young people.. you rocked our hoodie, helped register hundreds of thousands of voters and spoke from the heart..
Rest in power Chadwick Boseman pic.twitter.com/EMDDheLxKK
— Matt Deitsch (@MattxRed) August 29, 2020
“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.
Chadwick Boseman brought history to life on the silver screen, from Jackie Robinson, James Brown and Thurgood Marshall.
As Black Panther, he was also a superhero to many.
And despite his 4 year long battle with cancer, he kept fighting and he kept inspiring. He will be missed. pic.twitter.com/f0Tc8ByaXj
— Martin Luther King III (@OfficialMLK3) August 29, 2020
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.
I’m shocked and deeply saddened by the passing of @ChadwickBoseman. While best known for Black Panther, I was most appreciative of his incredible portrayal of my hero, Thurgood Marshall. It goes to show that tomorrow isn’t promised. Rest in power, Chadwick ✊ https://t.co/GudJwi5UEI
— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) August 29, 2020
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