Song: “A King’s Sunset” from Black Panther soundtrack
I may be reading too much into this, but I think the death of Chadwick Boseman is going to hit the black community much differently than anything else that’s preceded it in 2020. As bad as it sounds, we’ve become accustomed to police brutality and protests and riots have become something that’s expected.
But then we lost Kobe–a revered icon in the black community. Then we lost John Lewis, a veteran pillar in the Civil Rights Movement. And now we’ve lost Black Panther.
In the midst of all the cruelty, oppression, and racism, black people are always reminded that we’re resilient. So now, at the peak of social unrest, at a time where black people all across the country are trying to stand together more than ever against a common enemy, the symbol of our revolution, the face of our strength, our most beloved superhero, has fallen.
So it hits differently.
This feels like more than a loss–it feels like an existential wound.
2020 has been a hellish year for everyone on planet Earth, no doubt. But in the U.S. it has been particularly heinous for black people. If I wasn’t a Christian, I would be tempted to conclude that when you’re black, if racism doesn’t kill you, then God will.
But as I was processing this with my wife, she made an inspiring observation. Chadwick Boseman was diagnosed with cancer in 2016 and made 9 movies between then and his death. He didn’t stop. In the face of death, he was still chasing his dream.
2020 has left the destruction of a Thanos snap in its wake and doesn’t seem to promise any less moving forward. But in the face of unrelenting injustice, black people have a choice: we can give up and give in or we can get up and keep pushing.
In the face of his impending death, Boseman pressed on with his dream. In the face of opposition, we don’t have to throw in the towel and succumb to apathy or rage. We can brush ourselves off, regroup, and keep pushing.
But this isn’t just a message to black people: whether you’re white, Asian, male, female, American or not, 2020 has affected you in some way. You have the same choice: to give up or to keep pushing.
In spite of everything going on in the world, one thing has remained constant–God’s will for your life. He still wants you to write that book, to write that song, to start that business, to do whatever He’s put on your heart.
Will you let 2020 knock you off-course or will you get back up and keep going after what God has created you to do?