Chadwick Boseman's legacy continues in Downtown Disney, where a new mural by artist Nikkolas Smith pays tribute to the Black Panther star after he died in August at the age of 43 following a private 4-year battle with colon cancer. The work of art depicts Boseman holding up the Wakandan two-arm salute to a young boy wearing a Black Panther mask, showing just how important the actor's T'Challa was as a Black superhero on the big screen.
"This one is special. My King Chad tribute is now on a wall on display at Downtown Disney," Smith wrote alongside photos of the mural. "To millions of kids, T'Challa was a legend larger than life, and there was no one more worthy to fill those shoes than Chadwick Boseman. I'm so thankful to be able to honor Chadwick's life and purpose in this way. I am grateful to the Disney family for being so supportive of my journey as an artist."
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Boseman's friends and co-stars have been honoring the late 42 actor since his death last month. Lupita Nyong'o, who played Nakia opposite Boseman, wrote on Instagram after his passing, "I write these words from a place of hopelessness, to honor a man who had great hope. I am struggling to think and speak about my friend, Chadwick Boseman, in the past tense. It doesn't make sense. The news of his passing is a punch to my gut every morning." The actor possessed an "immortal energy" that made him feel both present and ageless, she continued. "Chadwick was a man who made the most of his time, and somehow also managed to take his time."
Black Panther director Ryan Coogler admitted after Boseman's death that not even he knew the star was sick. "After his family released their statement, I realized that he was living with his illness the entire time I knew him," Coogler said. "It's no secret to me now how he was able to skillfully portray some of our most notable ones. I had no doubt that he would live on and continue to bless us with more. But it is with a heavy heart and a sense of deep gratitude to have ever been in his presence, that I have to reckon with the fact that Chad is an ancestor now. And I know that he will watch over us until we meet again."