It’s been a while and I haven’t written anything about this, because it almost seems redundant. I processed it and am still shaken and saddened, and it didn’t seem like any words I might toss on the pile would mean much. We’re all on the same page here. Chadwick Boseman was nothing less than an inspiration, an icon of the early 21st Century. He deserves remembrance. He deserved better.
Kathryn H. Ross, a fellow writer I am happy to call a friend since we randomly and virtually bumped into each other at a Zoom party in the summer, has put it to words – and since the impact to her and her community was so very acute, I can do no better than to boost her signal here.
Obviously my own personal response to Mister Boseman’s death is less to do with his colour than it is to do with the monster that took him from us. Again and again I am reminded how very lucky I was to survive and bounce back as well as I have. Bowel cancer is one of the “better, more survivable” cancers and if you hear that enough, you sort of forget that it’s still fucking cancer. And it’s appalling.
I can’t begin to imagine the struggle of Stage Four, while continuing to work and smile and be this amazing beacon in the lives of so many people. The strength of this man. My God.
I can say nothing more, except thank you, Mister Boseman. What you gave us, and what you went through to continue giving it right to the end, is … you were an inspiration in life, and you will continue to be an inspiration for as long as your family, friends, and countless admirers live. Rest in power, sir.
Kathryn has written a collection of essays on the black experience and I highly recommend it. I’m still reading and digesting it myself because it’s very challenging, but I will do my best to review it when I’m done.