Following the sad news of Chadwick Boseman‘s untimely passing, tributes from his family, friends, fans and fellow actors continue to pour in.
Many have referenced his role as the titular character in Marvel’s Black Panther, highlighting the ‘Wakanda Forever’ salute as a symbol of the enduring significance of the film.
The movie dropped back in 2018, the beloved pose become known as an emblem of love, acceptance and progress, While there are hundreds of fictional superheroes, each with their own trademark gestures and symbols, none even come close to the impact of King T’Challa’s.
As outlined by Quartz: “With the Wakanda Forever salute being warmly embraced by American, African stars and British the film has done more than just met expectations – it’s become a cultural phenomenon uniting the global African diaspora.”
Many described it as a representation of the groundbreaking nature of the film, which marked an important time in cinematic history – Marvel’s first high-profile black superhero.
“No longer cast as a sidekick, Boseman’s Black Panther proudly symbolised so much progress. I can say that so many people felt celebrated for everything Black culture is in a world that frequently reminds us of what we aren’t.”
So it’s no surprise that the moment the King of Wakanda first made the salute, it stood out as a powerful moment, one that reverberated worldwide – and it only hits harder in light of Boseman’s tragic death.
Fans often asked the actor to perform the salute in public, as he once told chat show host Jimmy Kimmel, and he did most notably when addressing graduating students at Washington DC’s Howard University – a historically black college where Boseman himself graduated in 2000.
Henderson went on to write: “Following the 2018 release of the film, I proudly participated in the ‘Wakanda Forever’ salute with my peers as a sign to say that I truly see you.
“And tonight I will perform the salute again for Boseman.”
Many people are doing the same, including Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton who dedicated his performance at the Belgian Grand Prix to the late actor by performing the pose.
Manchester United footballer Jesse Lingard also got in on the act, sharing an image of himself performing the salute with teammate Paul Pogba, captioned: “RIP Chadwick Boseman, even though I didn’t know you on a personal level you inspired me and millions of people around the world.”
The star’s family confirmed the news of his passing via Twitter, revealing that the actor had been diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016.
He’s best known for playing the Wakandan King, as well as other films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but also recently starred in Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods. The 43-year-old was set to star in Black Panther 2, which was due to be released in 2022.
It’s safe to say he will be sorely missed, having made a huge impact worldwide during his career.
RIP to the King and Wakanda Forever.
Topics: Chadwick Boseman, black panther, Marvel