It feels like every time Chadwick Boseman appears onscreen, he’s finding a new way to inspire. His portrayals of African-American heroes have shown how black America has always been able to transform pain into something powerful. From turning James Brown’s tortured soul into music, Jackie Robinson’s pride into barriers broken and records set, and Thurgood Marshall’s sense of racial injustice into equality, Chadwick depicts these figures with a coolness, power and grace that remind us that we too can be great ourselves.
And now as the Black Panther, he’s inspiring everyone, but especially black youth, who deserve to see superheroes like them, to show them that truly anyone can be a superhero; this matters, because it has been a long time coming to see our own superheroes and the power that they can have on all of us in society. Black Panther’s billion-dollar global success has made it a phenomenon, and Chadwick’s role signals a black renaissance.
Combs is a Grammy-winning artist and an entrepreneur