In the final hours of his life, Chadwick Boseman knew he was “ready to go,” his older brothers — dancer Kevin Boseman, 48, and Pastor Derrick Boseman, 54, — shared with The New York Times. The day before the Black Panther star lost his battle with colon cancer, he told his eldest brother, “Man, I’m in the fourth quarter, and I need you to get me out of the game.” Paster Boseman asked his brother what he meant before realizing the heavy implications of this statement.
“When he told me that, I changed my prayer from, ‘God heal him, God save him,’ to “God, let your will be done,’” Pastor Boseman told The New York Times. “And the next day, he passed away.” Chadwick died on Aug. 28 after concealing his four-year cancer battle from the public. The shocking death caused a wave of grief and public mourning over such an incredible loss. “Chad was gifted,” Pastor Boseman told the Times, noting that his younger brother could sit and draw anyone. “He’s probably the most gifted person I’ve ever met.”
“He always did his best,” said Kevin, a successful dancer who toured with the Martha Graham and Alvin Ailey troupes and appeared in the stage adaptation of The Lion King. “His best was incredible.” Chad would join Kevin in New York City, staying with his older brother at his Prospect Heights apartment. It was there where Chad wrote the play, “Deep Azure,” a hip-hop-influenced play he mounted at Chicago’s Congo Square Theatre Company, per Complex. It would also be nominated for a 2006 Joseph Jefferson Award for New Work, and be instrumental in launching an incredible – and way too short – career.
“A lot of people think making it means becoming an A-list movie star,” Kevin told The New York Times. “I didn’t force that. I just knew that if Chad wanted to work in the arts, he would find a way and take care of himself.”
Chadwick’s resolve saw him make seven movies during his four-year cancer battle: the landmark superhero film, Black Panther; Marshall, a biopic about Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall; the Marvel epics Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame; the Spike Lee war movie Da 5 Bloods; the action-thriller 21 Bridges; and finally, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, a film adaptation of August Wilson’s 1982 play. The first photo of Chadwick as trumpet player Levee was released at the start of October. The film is set for a Dec. 18 release on Netflix.