MEMPHIS, Tenn. — America has seen more than its share of death in 2020. The coronavirus pandemic has taken more than 180 thousand American lives – nearly 380 of them in Shelby County. Several beloved entertainers have also passed away this year. None more stunning and heartbreaking than that of Black Panther actor Chadwick Boseman. His death Friday from colon cancer at the young age of 43, seemed to touch all Americans in near indescribable ways.
Boseman was talented actor for sure. In addition to his starring role in the highly successful Black Panther film in 2018, Boseman played other real life heroes – including Jackie Robinson and Thurgood Marshall – and turned in a brilliant performance as soul singer James Brown in the movie Get On Up. All of which perhaps explains our genuine connection to Boseman. He brought heroic African American figures to life, and made us all feel triumphant watching him do it.
Plus, he was full of empathy and caring. Since his death, media outlets have reported the touching story of Boseman – without fanfare – visiting cancer patients here at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in 2018. The star lifted their spirits -- even as he was privately battling cancer himself.
Yes, 2020 has been a year full of grief and anguish. All we can do is cherish the memories of those we have lost. And Chadwick Boseman is at the top of that list. And that’s my point of view.