Posthumously, Howard University’s recently re-established Chadwick A Boseman College of Fine Arts is named after the Black Panther and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom actor.
Chadwick Boseman, while a student at Howard University, led a student protest against proposals to merge his beloved College of Fine Arts with the College of Arts and Sciences. He didn’t achieve his goal, but the famous actor is being honoured posthumously as the namesake of Howard’s newly re-established Chadwick A Boseman College of Fine Arts 20 years later.
Boseman, who earned a bachelor’s degree in directing in 2000, died of colon cancer in August at the age of 43. He rose to fame after playing Jackie Robinson, musician James Brown, and Thurgood Marshall in biographical films. The South Carolina native’s portrayal of African superhero Black Panther sparked a thousand jokes and launched him to greater fame. Boseman’s character was ready to become an anchor of the Marvel Comics movie machine at the time of his death, with numerous sequels planned.
President Wayne Frederick of Howard University claimed he and Boseman discussed strategies to revive the College of Fine Arts on several occasions. Frederick told The Associated Press that it was always important to him. “His dedication was unfailing.” The news comes only weeks after fellow Howard graduate Phylicia Rashad was named head of the fine arts college. Rashad and Boseman met in college, and Boseman has openly credited her as a mentor.
In a 2018 graduating speech, Boseman expressed his admiration for the school, complimenting “the charm of this place.” Here, almost anything may happen.”
According to Boseman’s family, his student protest demonstrated his love for his alma mater. “During his time at Howard, Chad campaigned to protect the College of Fine Arts, and he stayed committed to the cause throughout his career, and he would be pleased by this development,” the Boseman family said in a statement.
Simone Ledward-Boseman, Boseman’s wife, described him as “a very proud Bison” who “brings this piece of his tale full circle” and “ensures that his legacy will continue to inspire future writers for years to come.” Taraji P. Henson, Oscar-nominated cinematographer Bradford Young, singers Roberta Flack and Jessye Norman, as well as Rashad and her sister, Kennedy Center Honors recipient Debbie Allen, are all Howard Fine Arts grads.