This past Friday evening as I was contemplating how many of the many things I had put aside I was going to try to catch up on during the weekend, my brother calls and says, “Chadwick Boseman died.” So I check my newsfeeds on all my digital devices and there it is – the words confirming the heartbreaking truth that he is gone from us.
My cellphone starts chiming, notifications coming in from texts, social media channels, missed calls, voicemails, all proclaiming, all confirming this prince, this king, this force of a man is no longer here. Then the gut punch – he has been suffering from colon cancer for years, endured surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation all the while he continued to work both onscreen and off.
It is a indication of the times that my mother’s reaction is that she is thankful that he was not the victim of a gunshot or some other horrific violent death as too many many men and women of color have been this year. 2020 is the “Annus Horribilis” people of color all across the globe.
When ABC announced Saturday that they would be showing his penultimate performance in the superhero movie that changed everything on Sunday, I dressed in the same outfit I wore to see the movie in when it had opened in 2018 with extra helping of “extra-ness” – maximum accessories a la Billy Porter and beat my face to the gods so that even RuPaul would salute me. On the couch, I put a big box of tissues beside me.
When it ended I cried, cried big baby tears for this one hurts like I lost a friend.