September 1st, 2020
An Appreciation of Chadwick Boseman
Last week, the world was shocked to hear of the death of actor Chadwick Boseman at age 43 from colon cancer. Shocked because of his young age, but more because his four year battle with cancer was concealed from the public.
He portrayed such icons as James Brown, Thurgood Marshall, and his most popular role being Black Panther in the Marvel film franchise, morphing into his characters before our eyes. The courage and resilience shown through these roles, and the many others he portrayed while fighting cancer, is a true example of how strong people can be, even while facing their worst fears.
Personally, my favorite film of his was “42” which told the story of Jackie Robinson. Boseman not only took on the mannerisms and told the story of the first African American allowed to play in Major League Baseball, but also conveyed the arduous circumstances and blatant racism to which Robinson was subjected to; because while much of the league, and America, was opposed to him sharing a baseball diamond with white players, Jackie used his skill, determination and guts to become a superhero.
When Boseman was a student at Howard University, he was accepted into the British American Drama Academy’s Midsummer program, but was unable to attend because he couldn’t afford it. Actor Denzel Washington stepped in and paid his tuition allowing Boseman to have a chance he would not have gotten otherwise, fulfilling Jackie Robinson’s famed quote: “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”
No one knows how much time they have on Earth, so it is up to us to make the most of each moment and help others do the same.
In business and life, courage is sometimes seen, and other times it’s invisible to everyone else. We can inspire through our actions, our compassion and our commitment to excellence.
– Michael Arnold
President, Palmetto Partners LLC.