• Gerald L. Coleman

the king is dead

Updated: Aug 31, 2020

A lot of us are nerds.

Yes, Chadwick played a lot of historical roles and some people will gravitate toward them as we remember him.

But a lot of US are nerds.

He will always be T’Challa to us. The Black Panther. Proud, fiercesome, just, wise, loyal, loving, powerful, and black. We loved what that portrayal did IN us, and in our community. The black boy joy it created, especially in our little black boys who looked at him with wonder and possibility in their eyes. The black girl magic that poured out of our little black girls watching him and Letitia, Danai, Angela Bassett, Lupita, and Florence Kasuma play a queen, a tech genius princess, a spy, a General, and a warrior - not a helpless fragile maid among them. Black Panther was more than a movie. It was long awaited REPRESENTATION of our beauty. Finally, here were our heroes portrayed with dignity, and because the creators behind the camera were black, they were brought to us in all their beautiful black glory. And because Chadwick played the titular role he became a representative, a touch stone, of the entire project. It shattered records. It closed naysaying mouths. It opened doors for other opportunities. It created an easy example for the rest of us to say, of course people want to see OUR stories told by US, just look at Black Panther. And Chadwick was at the center of that. We are shocked because he was so young and we didn’t know he was so ill, we are saddened because he was so brilliant, we are mourning because we were so looking forward to what was yet to come.

The King is dead. And he will be missed.

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