Even without the disruption of COVID-19 and shifting landscape due to social change, Chadwick Boseman’s death would still be a heavy one to bear.

He became an icon, not just to the global Black and African American community, but to the world as T’Challa, king of Wakanda in Marvel’s “Black Panther.”

The groundbreaking and award-winning film redefined the image of Black people on the screen and behind the lens with a predominately all-Black cast and director. Boseman presented the world with a regal, masculine and proud Black superhero on the screen that lit a social and cultural revolution.

This was just one of many iconic roles Boseman played throughout his career, which was tragically short but powerful.

He was born on November 29, 1976, in Anderson, South Carolina to Carolyn and Leroy Boseman.

His father was a textile factory worker and his mother was a nurse.

Boseman attended T. L. Hanna High School, and in his junior year, wrote and staged a play entitled, “Crossroads,” after a classmate was shot and killed.

He went on to attend Howard University in Washington, D.C., graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in directing.




Actress Phylicia Rashad became his mentor and helped raise funds with actor, Denzel Washington so Boseman and classmates could attend Oxford Mid-Summer Program of the British American Drama Academy in London.

Boseman had a passion to write and direct, and initially studied acting to learn how to relate to actors. After he returned to the U.S., he graduated from New York City's Digital Film Academy.

Living in Brooklyn, Boseman worked as a drama instructor in the Schomburg Junior Scholars Program, at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, New York.

Boseman performed in many stage productions including “Breathe,” “Romeo and Juliet,” “Bootleg Blues,” and “Zooman.” He won an AUDELCO award for his role in “Urban Transitions: Loose Blossoms,” a play about a struggling African American family pulled in by the temptation of fast cash.

He's also worked with the Hip Hop Theatre Festival and has written the plays “Hieroglyphic Graffiti,” “Deep Azure” and “Rhyme Deferred.” Boseman also directed a number of stage productions, as well as the short film, “Blood Over a Broken Pawn.”


In the mid-2000s, his acting career started with guest spots on crime dramas like “Third Watch” and “CSI:NY,” and on the daytime soap opera, “All My Children,” but was let go from the show after he voiced concerns over racial stereotypes in the script. The character would be recast with future “Black Panther” co-star, Michael B. Jordan. Additionally, he was one of the performers for the award-winning audio version of the 2005 novel “Upstate,” by Kalisha Buckhanon.

In 2008, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue his acting career, landing a recurring role on the ABC Family drama “Lincoln Heights.” He also had guest-starring roles on “ER,” “Lie to Me,” “The Glades” and “Cold Case.” Boseman would appear on a number of popular television shows, which include “Persons Unknown,” “Justified,” “Detroit 1-8-7,” “Fringe” and “Castle.”

In 2012, Boseman played the lead role in “The Kill Hole,” an independent film about the life of a Portland, Oregon, taxi driver and Iraq War veteran. He later received the role of a lifetime portraying Jackie Robinson in the biopic “42,” which tells the story of the legendary baseball player who broke racial barriers by becoming the first African American to play in the majors in the 20th century.



He later appeared in the 2014 football film “Draft Day,” with Kevin Costner and Jennifer Garner. Boseman went on to land another big role portraying music legend, James Brown in “Get on Up.” The film followed Brown through his personal struggles and successes. His next role was in “Gods of Egypt” playing Thoth, the god of wisdom and later starred in the revenge thriller “Message from the King,” in late 2016.

It was also in 2016, that Boseman would take on the role that gained international fame and acclaim as T’Challa aka Black Panther in the superhero ensemble blockbuster “Captain America: Civil War.” In 2017, he portrayed yet another important figure, Justice Thurgood Marshall in “Thurgood,” which was about a case early in Thurgood’s legal career.

In February 2018, the highly-anticipated “Black Panther” shattered box office records, making an estimated $218 million domestically over the four-day President's Day weekend, it went on to earn an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture.

Boseman's Black Panther later rejoined Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and other Marvel characters on screen for “Avengers: Infinity War” 2018 and “Avengers: Endgame” in 2019.

Later that year, Boseman starred in “21 Bridges,” a film about a NYPD detective on the hunt for two cop killers.

Boseman passed away on August 28, 2020, from colon cancer, which he was diagnosed with in 2016. Boseman persevered and battled the disease while appearing in multiple films, including “Black Panther” to the ignorance of many around him.

Many across social media have expressed their grief over the loss of their “King,” as the rallying call “Wakanda Forever” is hash tagged to just about every other posts.

Boseman’s peers spent the weekend expressing their pain, but also their joy and gratitude in having known the game changer personally.

“Through it all, you never lost sight of what you loved most. You cared about your family, your friends, your craft, your spirit. You cared about the kids, the community, our culture and humanity. You cared about me. You are my big brother, but I never fully got a chance to tell you, or to truly give you your flowers while you were here. I wish we had more time.” —Michael B. Jordan




“This hurts. Really hurts.” —Letitia Wright

“Words can't begin to describe the pain that many of us, especially his family are feeling right now. Had to imagine the quiet pain and struggle you went thru all these years, yet still you shined and motivated us all. Live like a Superhero, die like a Legend. Rest In Power KING” —Denzel Washington

“How do I start to honor a man who I saw as a giant in many ways; with whom I thought I had so much more time … I am absolutely devastated by the loss of my friend and hero, Chadwick Boseman ...” —Winston Duke


“How do you honor a king? Reeling from the loss of my colleague, my friend, my brother.” —Danai Gurira


“This young man’s dedication was awe-inspiring, his smile contagious, his talent unreal.

So, I pay tribute to a beautiful spirit, a consummate artist, a soulful brother … ’thou aren’t not dead but flown afar ...’

All you possessed, Chadwick, you freely gave. Rest now, sweet prince. #WakandaForever” —Angela Bassett


It’s clear from the outpouring of love across social media from his colleagues, fans and admirers, that Boseman was loved.

Many speak of his generous spirit, wisdom and dedication, which will undoubtedly leave a lasting mark on Hollywood.

It’s bittersweet, but we will always remember Boseman when we hear those words “Wakanda Forever” and how they inspire cultural pride and love for the Black Diaspora.



Hall of Fame Basketball Coach, John Thompson II, Dies At 78


“Don’t let eight pounds of air be the sum total of your existence,” the words of the legendary basketball coach John Thompson II are etched in the lobby of Georgetown University’s McDonough Arena where his legacy as the first Black coach to lead a team to the NCAA men’s basketball championship will forever be cemented in history.

In a family statement released by Georgetown on Monday, it was announced that Thompson died at 78 years old. While the cite the circumstances of his death, according to a CNN report, he passed away in his home in Arlington, Va. after experiencing multiple health challenges. 

“Our father was an inspiration to many and devoted his life to developing young people not simply on but, most importantly, off the basketball court,” read the statement. “He is revered as a historic shepherd of the sport, dedicated to the welfare of his community above all else. However, for us, his greatest legacy remains as a father, grandfather, uncle, and friend. More than a coach, he was our foundation. More than a legend, he was the voice in our ear every day.”

Thompson was hired by the Georgetown Hoyas in 1972 and over the course of his 27-year tenure as the head coach of the program, he compiled a 596-239 record, led the team to 20 NCAA appearances, was instrumental in the formation of hte Big East Conference where he led the team to six Big East tournament titles, and a national championship. Just a season before he signed on, the program held a record of 3-23.

Under his tutelage, the college basketball program grew to national prominence as Thompson helped to shape the careers of many prominent N.B.A. stars that include Naismith Basketball Hall of Famers Patrick Ewing, Dikembe Mutombo, Allen Iverson and Alonzo Mourning.

Following the announcement of Thompson’s death Mutombo wrote on Instagram, “He was my mentor, great teacher, hero and a father figure to so many us who got the chance to play for him,” adding, “Under coach Thompson, I learned a lot about the game of basketball, but most importantly, I learned how to be a man in society.”

At 6-foot-10 and nearly 300 pounds, Thompson was a presence with an echoing bass voice that resounded as he paced up and down the sideline with his signature white towel draped over his shoulder. Thompson was steadfast in developing intimidating centers like Ewing and employed a relentless approach to defense.

In 1981 during Ewing’s freshman year, Thompson coached his first Georgetown team to the NCAA Final Four, where the Hoyas lost 63-62 in the championship game against Michael Jordan’s North Carolina team that included James Worthy.

Ewing was named the national college player of the year after Georgetown topped Houston in the 1984 NCAA title game coached by Thompson and went on to become the No. 1 pick in the 1985 NBA draft.

The success Thompson experienced on the court was built on the foundation of championing disadvantaged Black youth with basketball talent and empowering them to gain a college education through athletic scholarship.

As a condition of his employment, Thompson negotiated terms for him to advocate for the recruitment of high school students who might otherwise be overlooked based on their academic standing.

Under his tenure, of the 77 players who remained with the Georgetown basketball program for four years, 75 received their degrees notwithstanding Georgetown’s demanding academic standards.

Among the mutiple accomplishments Thompson earned, he was also selected as the U.S. Olympic team coach in 1988 where the team earned a bronze medal.

Thompson showed a level of passion and commitment to his players that at times forced him to put action behind his words.

In 1989, when the NCAA adopted Proposition 42 which stated that it would deny financial aid to recruits who failed to meet minimum scores on standardized college-admission tests, Thompson walked off the court to a standing ovation before the tipoff home game against Boston College to express his displeasure and disagreement with the proposition, which he believed hindered the ability of minority student athletes access to college education.

In another move, Thompson allowed Allen Iverson the opportunity to play college basketball at Georgetown despite the fact that he spent four months in jail during this senior year in high school.


In 1996, Iverson became the first Georgetown player under Thompson to enter the NBA draft. During Iverson’s 2016 Hall of Fame speech, he fought back tears as he thanked coach Thompson for “saving my life.”

Iverson mourned the loss of his coach, mentor and friend in an emotionally charged Instagram post on Monday that was captioned,

Thanks For Saving My Life Coach. I’m going to miss you, but I’m sure that you are looking down on us with a big smile. I would give anything just for one more phone call from you only to hear you say, “Hey MF”, then we would talk about everything except basketball. May you always Rest in Paradise, where there is no pain or suffering. I will always see your face in my mind, hoping that I made you proud. “Your Prodigal Son.” #Hoya4Life

Thompson’s history making run as Georgetown’s head coach ended abruptly in 1999 due to what he categorized as personal reasons soon after Gwendolyn Twitty, his high school sweetheart and wife of 32 years divorced. Ultimately, the baton was passed to his son, John Thompson III, who was hired as Georgetown’s head coach in 2004 and later to Patrick Ewing.

Georgetown unveiled a $62 million state-of-the-art, 144,000-square-foot, on-campus athletics facility named in honor of Thompson in 2016 called the John R. Thompson Jr. Intercollegiate Athletics Center. There is also a bronze statue of the former coach that stands near the entrance of the center.  He remained a presidential consultant for urban affairs at Georgetown and had an office in the McDonough Arena.

John Robert Thompson Jr. was born Sept. 2, 1941, in Washington, D.C. After a great high school basketball career, he graduated from Providence College in Rhode Island with a degree in economics and led the Friars to the 1963 National Invitation Tournament title and, in 1964, their first NCAA tournament appearance. Thompson set Providence school records for points, scoring average, and field goal percentage. He was then drafted by the Boston Celtics in the third round of the 1964 NBA draft — the year of his college graduation.

During his two seasons in the NBA, Thompson mainly served as a backup to star center Bill Russell in which Boston won back-to-back championships. After his short-lived NBA career, Thompson went on to earn a master’s degree in guidance and counseling at the University of the District of Columbia.

Thompson’s legacy of pushing for excellence in college athletics, standing up for what he believed student athletes required to be successful both academically and on the court and his strong belief in his players are cemented by the words spoken by all the past and present NBA and college players who took to social media to mourn his loss, to explain his impact and to speak of his greatness.  

On Wednesday, Thompson would have celebrated his 79th birthday. He is survived by his three children, John Thompson III, Ronny Thompson, and Tiffany Thompson and grandchildren.

Category: Cover Stories