Chadwick Boseman's 2018 commencement speech at his alma mater, Howard University, resurfaced following his death and is now being viewed in a new light. The Black Panther star was invited back to campus as part of the school's 150th anniversary, sharing tales of his rise to fame and offering the graduating students plenty of words of wisdom.
As many clips began to surface of his speech, one of the more popular parts came at the very end of his monologue as Boseman challenged the class to "press on with purpose" before tying in his iconic catchphrase from the Marvel flick, "I love you, Howard. Howard forever!" Another snippet of his speech saw him share a story of his first major gig in a soap opera. He admitted he was bothered by the role he received, even questioning the producers about the stereotypes that were attached to this particular character. Despite filming three episodes, Boseman said he was let go shortly after asking production if the back story of his character could be adjusted. "I didn't like that damn job anyway. I didn't need them."
“Everything that you fought for was not for yourself, it was for those who came after you.” -Chadwick Boseman giving the 2018 commencement address at Howard University pic.twitter.com/2h52XaspMG— African American Policy Forum (@AAPolicyForum) August 29, 2020
Throughout his message, he provided various examples of how he positioned himself for success in life while keeping his integrity. Boseman would go on to play some of the most iconic people in American history, from Jackie Robinson to Thurgood Marshall and James Brown. His role as T'Challa in the Marvel franchise, though one of the few fictional characters he portrayed, serves as his greatest accomplishment and one that inspired a generation.
Also in 2018, Boseman gave this powerful commencement speech to the Howard University graduating class pic.twitter.com/R4mPBKmYxn— NowThis (@nowthisnews) August 29, 2020
Boseman's family announced his tragic passing last week. Before that, no one had known about his stage four colon cancer that was diagnosed with four years prior. Boseman, who was 43, will posthumously star in the upcoming Netflix film, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.
In the wake of his death, many in the entertainment industry expressed the impact he had on their lives. ABC put together a special to honor his life and legacy on Sunday, featuring interviews with many he worked with, including Robert Downey Jr. and Forrest Whittaker.