Completely unexpectedly I woke up to hear that Chadwick Boseman died yesterday of cancer at only 43. He was a fantastic actor and quickly also became an iconic actor by playing African American icons. He played the first African American Major League baseball player Jackie Robinson in “42”, singer/bandleader James Brown in “Get On Up” and Thurgood Marshall, the first African American Supreme Court Justice, in “Marshall”. All are great movies.

He then, of course, played King T’Challa – Black Panther – in four Marvel movies – “Civil War”, “Black Panther”, “Infinity War” and “Endgame”. The cultural impact that “Black Panther” had at the time, especially for people of colour, was immense. The movie made more than $1.3 billion, is the only Marvel movie to be nominated for Best Picture, and it had the highest grossing weekend ever at the time.

Today is really like losing our James Dean or our Marilyn Monroe. He’s gone far too young. You should see all of Chadwick Boseman’s movies – he was an extremely talented actor with a passion for bringing black stories to the limelight. I’m not religious, but sometimes it seems like God wants some of his angels back early.

I could easily write about how “Black Panther” is much more than just a simple superhero movie but I’m going to write about “Marshall”, just because it’s a smaller movie that fewer people will have seen and because, you know, I love true stories. And it’s still relevant, possibly even more relevant, today than even a few years ago when it was made.

“Marshall” is about one of Thurgood Marshall’s earliest cases. The NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People) sent Marshall to defend a black chauffeur. It was a high profile sexual assault and attempted murder trial.

Boseman is, of course, amazing as Marshall. The rest of the cast is also excellent including Josh Gad as his assistant lawyer and Sterling K. Brown as the accused man. Peter Travers, in Rolling Stone, said, “Charged by Boseman’s dramatic lightning, “Marshall” gives us an electrifying glimpse of a great man in the making.”

It also, sadly, gives us an electrifying glimpse of what could have been an amazing acting career. RIP man, you’ll be missed.

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