Last Friday evening while I worked on a project for a client, I learned that Chadwick Boesman had passed away. As I sat at my desk stunned, I struggled to register yet another loss in 2020. He was so young. So gifted. So committed to telling stories that lifted us up and gave the world a chance to see a new dimension of Black storytelling.
Chadwick Boseman used his work to represent the power of telling our own stories well. He gave us the immeasurable gift of seeing ourselves on screen as we truly are - graceful, noble, intelligent, creative, and multi-layered. He truly was the epitome of a King.
I think back to 2018, when Black Panther was released, celebrating the first Black Superhero, dressing up for date night on opening night, and the pride I felt in having a movie that celebrated us as leaders, innovators, warriors, a connected community. It was one of the first times I truly felt I saw myself (Hey Shuri!) on screen. The camaraderie that it created gave us a place we could call home. A rallying cry for our greatness - Wakanda Forever! A powerful reminder of who we are and of all we are capable of together.
Just as Black Panther was emblematic of greatness, Chadwick's death was a stark reminder of the importance of working with excellence while we can. He modeled the impact of how honoring your gift can elevate the gifts of others. He exemplified that it is not only the quantity of what you produce, but the quality of it that can leave a lasting impression.
He eloquently portrayed the stories of past real life heroes, Jackie Robinson in 42, James Brown in Get On Up, and the Honorable Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall in Marshall, and then created his own, King T’Challa. He exemplified grace under pressure and never allowed his obstacles to keep him from producing his best work. He was strategic in what he gave his energy to and did not let the good distract him from achieving the great. He gave his time to care for and inspire others as he managed his own illness. He was thoughtful and intentional in his dealings. He spoke with wisdom and shared his knowledge with the next generation. He was not afraid of taking the difficult path to achieve his goals and inspired those around him to do the same. That is legacy.
Legacy is why I work with clients to identify their passions and create a plan to serve with excellence and integrity. This is why I offer more than motivation and will not let my clients take the easy way out and neglect their gifts. God has placed each of us here “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14 KJV). He has uniquely equipped us to serve in ways that no one else can. He does not give us a time limit, but instead calls us each to consistently be “redeeming the time” (Ephesians 5:15-17 KJV) making the most of each of our days through service to Him and to others. So I ask you friend, “What legacy are you leaving?” and “How can I help you achieve it?”