Chadwick Boseman’s widow Taylor Simone Ledward spoke out for the very first time about her husband’s legacy while accepting an award on his behalf at the 30th annual IFP Gotham Awards on Monday.
The late actor, who passed shockingly in August after battling cancer for four years in secret, received the Gotham Awards Tribute prize at the ceremony. His wife took the opportunity to speak about what made the A-lister such a grounded, incredible artist and human, explaining:
“He is the most honest person I’d ever met. He actively searched for it, in himself, those around him and the moment. The truth can be a very easy thing for the self to avoid. But if one does not live in truth, then it’s impossible to live life.”
She even shared how the Black Panther star’s moral compass paired with his acting career led him to be the man he was, noting:
“So it became how he lived his life, day in and day out. Imperfect but determined. He was blessed to live many lives within his concentrated one. He developed his understanding of what it meant to be the one, the none and the all. ‘A vessel to be poured into and out of,’ he’d said.”
Some of those lives lived included many real life legends such as Jackie Robinson in 42, Thurgood Marshall in Marshall, and most recently Levee, inspired by many Black musicians during the 1920s, in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. The latter of which Netflix assured Chadwick would be put up for consideration for Best Actor at the Academy Awards, and should he receive the nom, he’d be the first posthumous nominee since 1995.
The 43-year-old’s wife continued her vulnerable message, revealing how his great faith guided him through tough times:
“He harnessed the power of letting go, and letting God’s love shine through. He realized that when one is able to recognize that when their strength does not come from themself, they rarely mess up. That’s what he was doing when he was acting. Modeling for us a path to true fulfillment.”
She then thanked the Gotham Awards for the great honor of the prize, adding:
“[It’s] acknowledgment of not only his profound work but of his impact on this industry and this world.”
An impact that will certainly never die as his portrayal of T’Challa in Black Panther was life-changing for so many young kids all over the world. Marvel even confirmed Boseman’s legacy won’t be forgotten as they plan for future films without their lead, assuring his character will not be recast.
Simone concluded her message by speaking directly to her late husband, saying in an emotional turn:
“Chad, thank you. I love you. I am so proud of you. Keep shining your light on us. Thank you.”
Such a sweet tribute to the inspiring actor. Ch-ch-check out clips of the moving speech (below)!
Chadwick Boseman’s widow cries as she accepts a Gotham award in his honor. “Chad, thank you,” says Simone Boseman. “Keep shining your light on us.” pic.twitter.com/jQidx0Yp6c
— Kyle Buchanan (@kylebuchanan) January 12, 2021
We wish Boseman’s friends and family strength as they continue to mourn and remember his life.