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  • Writer's picture@ Cynthia Adina Kirkwood

Wakanda Forever: Chadwick Boseman Dies at 43

Chadwick Boseman, star of the blockbuster Black Panther, died of colon cancer at age 43 on August 28. He also portrayed historical figures such as Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, Major League baseball player Jackie Robinson, and the "Godfather of Soul", James Brown. (Photo by The Scottish Sun)


(This piece was first published on February 25, 2018.)

Chadwick Boseman plays T'Challa, who rises to the throne of Wakanda, a self-imposed isolated, technologically superior African nation. However, his claim is challenged by a vengeful outsider who was a victim of T'Challa's father.

An impressive film!

I liked the story, (it challenged me to confront the concept of isolationism as protection of a nation), the music, (it introduced a kalimba, or African thumb piano, at an unexpected moment), the acting (young stars such as Chadwick Boseman and Lupita Nyong'o and veterans such as Angela Bassett and Forest Whitaker), and the costumes (designer Ruth Carter drew inspiration from the Tuaregs of northwest Africa, the Himba of southern Africa, and from an Afropunk festival in Atlanta, Georgia. She also used black, red and green, the colors of the pan-African flag)!

I admired the creators’ use of scarification, which usually signifies a rite of passage in particular tribes. Then, we see scarification on T'Challa's cousin as someone who would be described as “lost.”

One of my favorite lines:

"Guns, how primitive!" spoken by Okoye, the leader of Wakanda's military.

I got teary eyed when the young boy in Oakland asked: "Who are you?"

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