The Superhero I Did Not Realize I Needed
If someone asked me 3 years ago, "Who's your favorite superhero?" I would respond, "Batman, of course." The reason being, he is a regular guy without "superpowers," intelligent, rich, handsome, mysterious, the strong silent type, a man-of-few-words. Haha.
However, someone has taken Batman's place as my favorite superhero. Someone who has had an impact on people not just in comics as Black Panther but in real life-- that someone is Chadwick Boseman.
I know everyone has written, spoken, and posted about Chadwick Boseman's departure from us. I am still saddened and more likely will continue to be for a while. The thing is he represents what I wish of myself and others could be. You can tell he cared about his craft and wanted to tell the stories of the characters he portrayed.
Watching him in interviews and speeches, you could see his humbleness. When he spoke, he made you think, "There is something about him." He spoke not just in a charismatic way, but with purity and genuineness.
I was first introduced to his acting by watching the film 42 based on the life of Jackie Robinson. As we know, Jackie Robinson was the first Black athlete to play Major League Baseball in the 20th century. Back when I was a kid, I learned about Jackie Robinson and was told about the challenges he faced. Of course as a kid, you sometimes do not fully understand the enormity of such. It wasn't until I saw the film 42 with Boseman depicting Robinson, that it resonated with me the sheer magnitude and scope of what Robinson endured during his baseball career. Imagine being around droves of people that hate you just because of your skin complexion-- and you are just doing what you have agreed to do. Perhaps they hate because of what your skin tone represents. It is unfortunate that this is still a problem to endure. But, that's a whole separate conversation...
The other film I saw was Get on Up with Boseman portraying James Brown. At first, I was like "Oh nooooo..." But, I decided to give it a chance anyway and I am glad I did. When I learned he decided to perform like Brown and did his dancing, I was like "Whoa..." I have great respect for actors that can personify and bring to life the characters they portray. He still did not physically look like James Brown to me, but I digress.... Haha.
Because I enjoy comic books, I was ecstatic at the wave of superhero films that have come to screen. Even though I am more of a DC comics kind of girl, I have read some Marvel too. And since we are talking about Chadwick, Marvel Universe it is! We were lucky to have Boseman appear in some of Marvel's Avengers series: Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame.
Black Panther. Black Panther represents so much. I have an appreciation of what the director and the actors were able to bring to life to tell these characters' stories. Black Panther provided a lead superhero many of us were not used to and seeing the influence of African traditions and cultural themes was amazing. This film has made an immense impact on generations, young and old. Admittedly, I went to the theater to see Black Panther 4 times-- not that it was such a phenomenal film, but because of what it signified for Black people and the culture. WAKANDA FOREVER!
Here are some other films Boseman starred/appeared in Da 5 Bloods, Message from the King, The Kill Hole, 21 Bridges, Marshall, Gods of Egypt, and Draft Day.
In the first paragraph, I stated my reasons for Batman being my favorite superhero. The reasons are not all the same with my new superhero Chadwick. In my eyes, humble, kind-hearted, self-assured, determined, resilient, and powerful are just some of the words that can be used to explain who he is.
I am not so much of a fan because of his role as Black Panther, I am a fan of his due to his role as Chadwick Boseman. Thank you Chadwick for the mark you made on the world and for being a real-life superhero, not only for me but so many others.