When news broke that you were no longer with us, I immediately scoffed at it. A blog looking for clickbait, I presumed, but as I turned on my television and the news flashed across it my worst nightmare turned into a reality. Grief swelled my heart and tears fell from my eyes as if I knew you personally, as if I had the luxury to call you a friend. But that’s exactly it. To many fans both in and out the black community, you were a friend, a hero, you were our beacon of hope. We watched the masses fall in love with you as you crushed movies like 42, Get On Up, Marshall and Civil War. We witnessed your Denzel Washington trajectory happening in front of our eyes. Film by film you were creating a legacy; but it was your portrayal of King T’Challa in his feature film Black Panther that cemented your legacy.
For the first time, black and brown children, (and kids at heart like myself,) had a hero who looked like them. As T’Challa you exuded grace, intelligence, heart and regality. You weren’t another black character playing a decades old stereotype, you broke the mold. I walked away from that packed theater proud to be black and holding my head even higher. You were our King on and off screen; similar to your famous character, you were royal, passionate about our community, and truly one of a kind. You created blockbusters like Infinity Wars, Endgame, Black Panther and so many more while in your private moments you were in pain. You wanted to ensure black children for generations to come had someone worthwhile to lookup to; your sacrifice could never be forgotten and as a proud black nerd I’m forever in your debt. We waited years for proper representation, it felt like we’ve been waiting years for you. So to lose you so soon after we just got you feels heart wrenching, even unfair to an extent. Although, you were a star unfortunately you were a shooting star and your time here was limited.
Rest easy my King.
Featured image via CBC.CA