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I Marvel...

I'm sad today because I got the news that most people were stunned to hear- the actor, Chadwick Boseman, who played King T'Challa in Marvel's Black Panther has died at age 43 from colon cancer. I couldn't believe it. Not because I worship any human being that is considered to be a Hollywood 'star', but because he brought to life a superhero who gave people of color a hero of our own that has been predominately reserved for white actors. The story line, for me as a Christian, is not at all in line with my faith in God and His word, but I do understand what the role and characters represented for black people- young, old, men, women and children, an excellent representation of what we want our superheroes to look like; regal, powerful, intelligent, strong, of the highest moral character living in a technologically advanced country far superior to any other industrialized nation in the world -unified in purpose and love of their beautiful and people. The images were powerful, the acting superb and the messages, albeit controversial, profound. These were dark skinned blacks from the African nation of Wakanda that were absolutely gorgeous. And Chadwick Boseman played the hero role with the grace and dignity that, from all accounts, mirrored the person he was was in real life. All while hiding a deadly disease from the world up until his passing. There was something majestic about Chadwick, when you watched his portrayal of other iconic figures like James Brown, Thurgood Marshall and Jackie Robinson -roles that were precursors to the character he will forever be known for. I marvel at how he was able to continue working while undergoing surgeries and treatment for 4 years while at the same time still remain the consummate professional, artist and compassionate human being. Watching him get emotional over children he visited with cancer that would pass before getting a chance to see his movie, knowing he himself was dealing with the same kind of pain- further encapsulates the man. 'Without question', he set the bar high when it comes to standards for our heroes. In a time in this country where it appears that having standards is an antiquated concept: truth doesn't matter, and moral and ethical standards aren't even a basic prerequisite to occupy the highest office in the land- the spirit and essence of a fantasy marvel character should remind the world of how high the bar should be set for those with power to govern- and must be set again. Those character traits enumerated in a Disney movie, should make us as Americans embarrassed to see how low the bar has been set for our own leaders. When I hear some of the hateful, divisive, dog whistling, fear mongering rhetoric which has become par for the course coming out of the White House, a powerful scene from Black Panther comes to mind. T'Challa goes back to 'the ancestral plain' to speak with the spirit of his father and all the other ancestors and he rebukes them saying: 'You were wrong, all of you were wrong- to turn your backs on the rest of the world... He is a monster of our own making- I must take the mantle back. I must right these wrongs! I say amen to that T'Challa...He is a monster of our own making! We MUST right these wrongs people. Rest In peace brother #ChadwickBoseman... Until next time...

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