The death of Chadwick Boseman impacted me greatly. Although I never met him, I admired him from afar. He wasn’t just a great actor; he was a great person. In a time where the world is growing more hate-filled and hostile toward its neighbors, it was refreshing to encounter someone through his works who genuinely loved and looked out for his neighbor.

Prior to his death I read stories on Chadwick Boseman’s humanitarianism. I saw a video of how he was impacted by a few children who were dealing with cancer. They were trying to hold on to see the release of the ground breaking movie, “Black Panther.” I watched as this man cried for the children, hoping that they would be able to see the movie. Now I realize that his tears were for the children and personal, as he quietly and admirably battled cancer in private.

Chadwick Boseman motivated me prior to his death because he is an example of Black excellence. It brought great pride to me as an African American woman to see Chadwick Boseman rise above the odds.  It let me know that anything is possible. Chadwick’s legacy teaches me several things as I journey forward.

The first thing his legacy teaches me is to live.  To live while I still have breath in my body. To live my life like there is no tomorrow because tomorrow isn’t promised. I am to live each day pursuing my dreams and carrying out the call of God upon my life.  From what I saw on the outside looking in, Chadwick Boseman didn’t make excuses. He was dealing with cancer in his body and made 10 movies during this ordeal.  He didn’t stop living because he received an unfavorable diagnosis.  He didn’t stop pushing himself and others to become something more than what the world believed you should be. His life taught me to live my life on purpose each day.

Secondly, Chadwick Boseman’s legacy teaches me resilience and perseverance.  To be resilient you to have the ability to bounce back after being knocked down.  Chadwick Boseman had resiliency.  Having had a loved one die of cancer and knowing many more who walked that same path, it is not easy.  Chemotherapy and radiation treatments causes pain and trauma to the body.  For many there is sickness and fatigue, and a host of other side effects. Yet Chadwick Boseman was resilient. He persevered despite what he was enduring in his body.  His legacy teaches me that I can overcome anything in my life if I am resilient and persevere.  I can reach heights I never thought of if I continue to press forward in spite of pain, setbacks and bad reports.

Lastly, Chadwick Boseman’s life teach me to leave here empty.  What I mean by this is to leave this earth having done what God has created me to do. I While I am still living I am to play full out!  Give of yourself and impact the world while you can. Chadwick Boseman emptied himself of his gifts, his talents, his humanitarian efforts, and we are blessed because of it.  

I don’t want to leave this earth hoarding anything.  Not my gifts. Not my talents.  Not my resources or money. We are a blessed to be a blessing, and Chadwick Boseman not only understood this, he walked it out each day.  No one knows when they will close their eyes for the final time. And since that’s case, we need to live our lives with our eyes wide open, conscious, and cognizant to what’s happening around us and be a light in a dark place. Chadwick Boseman was a light in a dark place.  He shined brightly for all to see.  He has passed the baton to those who followed his career, admired him from a far and lived with him up close and personal. He who once ran a great race has now become the coach.

Now, it’s time for us to make the coach proud! It’s time for us to pick up the baton and run with purpose, resiliency and perseverance not making excuses for anything that gets our way. Hurdles are placed in our path not to defeat us; hurdles are placed in our path to be conquered so that we can run our best race and cross the finished line victorious. Thank you Chadwick Boseman for a life well-lived, for your testimony and for being an example of excellence, love and humanity at its best.