On Sunday, my wife and I spoke to our toddler about what happened to the actor who plays the hero in his favorite movie, Black Panther.
This was our first time attempting to crystalize the permanence of death to a child who doesn’t know how any of this works.
We started with a picture of Chadwick Boseman, and fumbled through the words, unable to find the precise context to help him to understand. He too was puzzled, until suddenly he said to us, “Oh, you mean he’s in the red sand with the ancestors?”
I turned my head and clamped my eyelids, somehow eventually turning to respond, “Yes, just like that.”
Chadwick Boseman’s memory and the projects he chose with intent are already seared into our hearts. This episode of the Low Key Podcast is a “Thank You” to Boseman — for the heroes he played, for the hero he was. For the mark he left on the globe, and for the legacy his peers in the film industry were already acting on prior to the news of his death.
Black Panther changed everything, and he was the heart of it.