For Chadwick Boseman's birthday this year, National Today has created a new commemorative holiday, Chadwick Boseman Day, to celebrate his achievements. Boseman was more than just a talented actor, he was determined to use his talents in a positive way. A way that shined through when you look at the roles he played throughout his career. Chadwick made it his mission to highlight Black excellence and here are five examples of him doing exactly that.
The First Black Lead Superhero in the Marvel Universe - Black Panther
When he took up the role of T’Challa in Marvel’s Black Panther, Boseman was the first Black lead in the Marvel universe. More importantly, he gave young Black children across the world a hero who looked like them.
Shined a light on late Civil Rights icon Thurgood Marshall - Marshall
Boseman embodied the lead in this biographical legal drama about Thurgood Marshall, the first-ever African American Supreme Court Justice. He was widely praised for his performance and the film went on to pick up an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song.
A Stunning homage of the Godfather of Soul - Get On Up
In Get On Up, Boseman played the legendary singer James Brown, one of the great artists of the 20th century. He was widely applauded for the nuance with which he tackled Brown’s life.
Portrayed the former Syracuse Great Ernie Davis - The Express
Boseman’s first movie role back in 2008 told the story of Ernie Davis, the first Black football player to win the Heisman Trophy. Boseman plays Floyd Little, a running back who is on the same team as Davis. It’s another example of Boseman getting behind a movie that portrays a strong Black character.
Slipped into Jackie Robinson's Iconic Cleats - 42
Often cited as the film that elevated Boseman’s career, 42 sees Boseman playing baseball legend Jackie Robinson, the first African American to play in Major League Baseball in the modern era.