Chadwick Forever

 Even though this is allegedly a horror blog, I’m once again NOT going to be talking about horror. You know what, actually, I am because 2020 has been a never ending nightmare. And I feel so horrible chalking this up to “2020”. Chadwick Boseman was sick for so long, it feels like I’m minimizing it. I just don’t understand. I can’t really process that. Chadwick’s movies, despite not being horror movies, had a great significance to me. Like, my mom and my stepdad during my teen years (long story) are white. So, I spent my teen years being mostly raised by white people. As quiet as it’s kept, when your parents don’t look like you, it’s hard for them to relate to your struggles. I really struggled with my ethnicity growing up and films that portray Blackness so positively make me feel like there there is a Black kid in a similar situation to my own and they will grow up more comfortable with their Blackness.

You know when Vincent Van Gogh was like “the sadness will last forever”. That’s literally how I feel right now. Like besides the unfair and untimely passing of Chadwick Boseman, I’m dealing with a lot in my personal life. Like, this isn’t like a cry for help or anything, and I think that a lot of people are dealing with a lot right now. This year is like no other. And that must be hard on everyone. I’m working on my coping skills.  And one of my favorite ways to deal with feelings of helplessness sadness is to think of good things related to the things that are upsetting me. Like, this year the stepdad from my childhood and general father figure (once again, long mcfreakin story) passed away. I did not get the closure that any daughter wanted or deserved. So to combat that, I think about the cool things I did with my dad. Like when all my friends didn’t have prom dates for junior prom so I had a pool party at my dad’s house. That was really cool of him. Was that kindness I extended to my friends reciprocated? No! (another long story) But, my dad making an effort to make that time good for me and my friends was still pretty freaking cool. Another one of my favorite memories with my dad was going to Opening Day for the Padres at Qualcolm Stadium. So I hope if you are feeling upset right now, that you can think of the times Chadwick made you smile. He meant so much to so many people and I’m sure that when he went, he knew how much we loved him. Have you ever met a person that disliked Chadwick? He was not a polarizing figure. He was universally liked.

 I wanted to remind everyone of the wave of positivity that Chadwick Boseman’s life and career brought millions of people. Like, this man’s whole career was an ERA. People say there will never be another for a lot of people. But how many people can accomplish so much in so little time while having cancer? Seriously, there will never be another and to pretend that it’s even possible is nonsense. Chadwick Boseman was one of a kind. And, there is no other way to say it, there will NEVER be another.

I really feel like Chadwick will be remembered for being “for the culture”. But for me, he WAS the culture. This man had all the stones needed for a Black Excellence Infinity Gauntlet. He graduated from Howard University. He played Jackie Robinson, the first black Major League Baseball player. Which is the first movie I saw with him in it. It was the movie that made me a fan. I am still amazed when I  think about how he brought Jackie Robinson, Thurgood Marshall, and James Brown to the screen. Like, those are all wildly different people. He had the range.

When it was first announced that Boseman was to be the Black Panther. I became really excited. I had seen him play as James Brown, but also as a marine is the series Persons Unknown. This was a miniseries, and I don’t understand why. It was so interesting. While I may not love sports movies or shows, I do love a good mystery. This totally could have worked as a show. 

Black people bright people from the African Diaspora so much joy, and frankly, it’s because we don’t have a lot of Black heroes that are main characters. For a lot of Black children, Black Panther was the first time a lot of Black Children see themselves not only as a warrior, but as royalty. Despite my grief for someone that I didn’t know, yet feel so familiar with, my mind keeps bringing my back to that video where the mostly black school found out that they were all going to see Black Panther. It brought us the now iconic gif of lil man dancing. This moment in time even inspired me to donate locally so children in my city could see Black Panther and have snacks too. Not to be like “what’s the deal with airline food?”, but why are movie snacks so expensive? Whatever, I guess it doesn’t matter because knowing that I could contribute to Black children’s joy will always be priceless to me. Black Joy and unity will always be synonymous with the life and legacy of Chadwick Boseman, who visited Saint Jude’s to lift the spirits of sick children. He did this while he was sick himself.

As they say, in my culture, death is not the end. So I really want to share some things I think highlight some things I feel are relevant to Chadwick’s life. To our brother, to our King, I wish you a safe journey to ancestorhood. We will forever honor you and everything you have done for us.  Wakanda Forever.

Before I start naming of charities, I want to share some cool places you can visit online. 

  • First, you can learn about Lake Turkana on National Geographic’s website. This lake is in the general area where Wakanda (in the original comics)  would be if it was a “real” place. 
  • Here is another Jackie Robinson biopic. Obviously, this does not star Chadwick Boseman. But the person playing Jackie Robinson is quite literally the best person for the job 😉 
  • Marvel has pages where you can learn more about their characters here is Black Panther’s
  • Even though everyone seemed to hate Gods of Egypt, I didn’t mind it. Did I think it needed to cast some of the people that they casted? Absolutely not. But I like this movie in the same way I like Zack Synder movie…It’s about the aesthetic. And, am I every going to be mad about men in eyeliner? Never! Literally never! More men should wear eyeliner. Chadwick played the god Thoth. Thoth is the Egyptian god of knowledge and secrets. You can read about him here
  • Chadwick’s last tweet was his endorsement for VP. You can register to vote here if you live in Nevada. 
  • Listen to the Get On Up soundtrack on Spotify here.
  • Black Jeopardy is one of the funniest things SNL has given us in years. This is when T’challa was on it.

If you feel inclined to, please consider donating to the Colorectal Cancer Alliance. They need donations more than ever because people who are immune compromised are at a higher risk for Covid-19. So a lot of the Alliance resources have been depleted. You can donate in honor of the name of someone, and I think that Chadwick Boseman’s ascension to ancestor status would be highly complemented by helping people who had the same illness but less money to alleviate things. African Americans are actually at higher risk for this type of cancer. That’s something to think about.

If you have BIG money, it would be really cool to make a donation to Chadwick’s alma matter Howard University. I feel uncomfortable giving money to the colleges I went to because like, I paid my tuition bro, leave me alone plz. Like I personally don’t get why schools charge us so much money for the dumbest stuff (like freaking parking on a raggedy pavement that still hasn’t gotten fixed five years after the fact!) and then have the nerve to ask us for money. But, I could see why HBCU’s need money. I could go into it, but it’s like, a lot.

But seriously, I think giving money to HBCUs is very admirable. As a black woman, I think I would have fared better in higher education if I went to an HBCU instead of white colleges. The college I went to during my freshman year was….a lot to deal with. However, I did make my BFF there so it all worked out! I’ve never really had close friends that looked like me and went through similar experiences to me. I am so thankful for her and I just wanna say: love the people in your life LOUDLY and OFTEN. If this year has taught us anything, it’s that people are not going to be here forever and tomorrow is not promised. I cannot believe we lost Black Mamba and Black Panther in the same year. I know Kobe is controversial, however I think his commitment to the advancement of girls/women in sports was his way of repenting for things. I think that is his legacy.

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