Lessons From Black Panther

We lost a legend last week.  Chadwick Boseman was one of the top actors in the world and a man who took the world by storm in his performance as the Black Panther for Marvel. There are many things we can learn from Chadwick’s life and performances:

  1. You can shape those around you

Chadwick Boseman challenged stereotypes. In a commencement speech at Howard University, he shares details of a role where he was playing a character who did not have a father and whose mother was on heroin. While the directors loved his performance, he started to ask questions. He started questioning why he had to play a stereotype character whose father was not around and whose mother was on drugs. Boseman was removed from the role for questioning the directors but stood firm in challenging the status quo. While some people may not have been willing to hear what he had to say, he shaped people’s perspectives.

2. Your job is more than a job

Chadwick Boseman seemed to draw inspiring and transformative roles in his acting career. He caught his break by doing an incredible job as Jackie Robinson in 42. He played James Brown in Get on Up and Thurgood Marshall in Marshall. Among many other big roles, he took the world by storm through his inspiring performance as the Black Panther.

He gave black children and adults a superhero they could relate to. He gave them a picture and hope of who they could be that is not always portrayed in superhero movies. Children of all races and ages were Black Panther for Halloween. It was a role that transcended boundaries and brought people together.

You may think that a job is just a job, or a role is just a role, but every opportunity can bring people together. Every opportunity can transcend the world and influence the way people see themselves.

3. Life is about others

I was shocked to hear that Boseman battled colon cancer for the last 4 years! Boseman performed his famous Black Panther role while battling one of the nastiest diseases in today’s world. While it is surprising for some of us who do not know him very well, it is even more surprising to hear that his friends had no idea that he was battling the disease.

Even amid a great battle, he was focused on other people. He did not bring attention to his worries and did not invite a pity party. He focused on inspiring and empowering others to be the superheroes in their own lives.

You will be missed. Thank you for what you gave us during your time. Wakanda forever.

If you have been following along for a while, you know that September is the time of year where I take a break from Monday Motivation, reset, and see what the future looks like for the platform. This September marks 3 years of Monday Motivation so thank you to everyone who has supported me over the last few years. You reading each week and sharing with others means more than I can express.

For October, I am looking for people who want to share a defining moment from their lives and how it shaped you. Defining moments offer glimpses and vulnerability that let people know they are not alone. If you want to share or know someone you want to hear from, please send me a message.

I have a huge announcement coming up in the future that you will not want to miss! It is something that I know will help a lot of people that I am excited to share with the world. Stay tuned!

I appreciate you.

-JP

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