Local Leaders remember Chadwick Boseman's impact

NOW: Local Leaders remember Chadwick Boseman’s impact

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. - Chadwick Boseman's cinematic career spanned 17 years, but that was enough for many local leaders in Michiana to consider him an icon and compare his death to the likes of Kobe Bryant. One South Bend community leader called Boseman's death a "gut punch."

"His impact was at a very high level," said South Bend Second District Common Councilman Henry Davis, Jr. "It was a gut punch to wake up and hear of his passing. He's a part of this new idea of superheroes and stars. One thing I have to do is explain to my son that another one of his heroes is gone just like with Kobe Bryant all in the same year."

South Bend Common Council President Karen White said Boseman's role in 'Black Panther' gave the African American Community its own superhero.

"He is a super hero that we so much needed," White said. "He gave a sense of hope in that one can become what they have been purposed to do. He instilled in communities of color, especially upcoming young African Americans that your dreams were possible."

Boseman's portrayal of classic figures in African American History like Jackie Robinson and Thurgood Marshall have community leaders saying he helped paint the picture of history in the United States.

"We get to see what he was able to do in the short amount of time that he was here on Earth and play in those roles that he played helped redefine black history which is also American history," Councilman Davis said.

Elkhart Mayor Rod Roberson also spoke on Boseman's legacy saying he "left a significant impact on the African American Community with his symbolism of an uplifting, black superhero." Roberson went on to say that while Boseman's career was "seemingly short, it was certainly impactful." Roberson said he has friends who enjoy doing the "Wakanda Forever" gesture to each other not only to honor the "Black Panther" movie, but also to instill a sense of pride in being African American.

Boseman was 43 years old.

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