Boseman’s family revealed that the actor died on August 28 after a four-year battle with colon cancer. His death was shocking to fans and peers alike — Boseman had filmed several different projects in the years before he died, choosing to keep his medical condition private. When he wasn’t filming action-packed scenes for films like Black Panther, 21 Bridges, and Da 5 Bloods, Boseman was undergoing various surgeries and cancer treatments.
All of Hollywood was rocked by the loss of the film star, specifically the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Boseman’s run as the Black Panther had an immense cultural impact, allowing Black boys and girls all over the world to see themselves in superhero movies for the very first time. Still mourning his death, co-star Nyong’o wrote about Boseman’s legacy, calling him a man who “cared about humanity, cared about Black people" in a heartfelt statement.
"I am aware that we are all mortal, but some people possess an immortal energy, that seem like they have existed before...that seem ageless," she wrote on her social media. "Chadwick was one of those people."
"He practiced not going against himself," Nyong'o said of Boseman. "He accepted himself. And perhaps that's why he was so capable of loving so many, so deeply."
"He also made damn sure that his life meant something," she continued. "By pushing through and working with such high purpose in the films he chose to commit to, Chadwick has made the infinite his home."
Nyong'o and Boseman first got acquainted while working together on the 2018 cultural reset that was Black Panther. The first full-length MCU project to feature a Black superhero, the film took audiences into the beauty and sophistication of the hidden city of Wakanda. As the Wakandan king, Boseman became a symbol of Black pride and power, though the actor had already established a reputation for playing some of the most important figures in Black culture. His epic role as T'Challa followed successful movies about James Brown (Get on Up!), Jackie Robinson (42), and Thurgood Marshall (Marshall).
Boseman's dedication to telling stories that were nuanced and uplifted Black culture is not lost on Nyong'o — though his death is heartbreaking, Boseman's work ethic and love for the culture inspired the Americanah actress to live the rest of her life in a way that will leave a similar mark on the world.
"We are all charged by his work as a result, by his presence in our lives," wrote the star. "His power lives on and will reverberate for generations to come...#TakeYourTimeButDontWasteYourTime"