Millions took to social media to offer tributes mourning the surprise passing of “Black Panther” actor Chadwick Boseman who died Friday, August 28 from colon cancer. He was just 43. Unbeknownst to even his castmates, Bozeman had secretly been undergoing treatment for four years.
Michael B. Jordan, who costarred as Erik Killmonger in “Black Panther” posted to Instagram on Monday, with photos of the two friends, “I've been trying to find the words, but nothing comes close to how I feel. I’ve been reflecting on every moment, every conversation, every laugh, every disagreement, every hug…everything. I wish we had more time." "One of the last times we spoke, you said we were forever linked, and now the truth of that means more to me than ever.”
Letitia Wright, who starred as his sister Shurl in “Black Panther” immediately tweeted, “This hurts. Really hurts,” and posted a heartfelt poem to Instagram on Sept. 1 transcribed by E! that reads in part, “I didn't know you were dealing with so much. But against all the odds, you remained focused on fulfilling your purpose with the time handed to you.”
Black Panther Director Ryan Coogler posted, “After his family released their statement, I realized that he was living with his illness the entire time I knew him. Because he was a caretaker, a leader, and a man of faith, dignity and pride, he shielded his collaborators from his suffering. He lived a beautiful life. And he made great art. Day after day, year after year. That was who he was. He was an epic firework display. I will tell stories about being there for some of the brilliant sparks till the end of my days. What an incredible mark he’s left for us.”
In his last Instagram post, Boseman posted a photo of himself with vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, with the words,” YES,” three handclap emojis and the hashtags “#WhenWeAllVote” and “#Vote2020.” After news of his death, Harris posted another angle of that photo with Bozeman to her Instagram page, saying, “Heartbroken. My friend and fellow Bison Chadwick Boseman was brilliant, kind, learned, and humble. He left too early but his life made a difference.”
While Panther broke records at box offices worldwide, Boseman broke one more record as he left this world. The post by his family announcing Bozeman’s death has the most likes in Instagram history, which stated in part, “A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much. From Marshall to Da 5 Bloods, August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and several more, were all filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy. It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther.”