Tribute to the Black Panther star is a response to an academic struggle he has waged for years
Chadwick Boseman, the eternal Black Panther, will name the Fine Arts course at Howard University in the USA. The educational institution, one of the most respected in the country, has a tradition of fostering higher education for the black American population and was where the actor graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in 2000. The star of Marvel, nominated for an Oscar 2021 for The Supreme Voice of the Blues, died in August 2020 from colon cancer.
The tribute is the culmination of a struggle fought by the actor as a student, as well as a response to the success and representativeness he achieved after graduating from Howard. In 1997, a still young Chadwick led student protests against the incorporation of the Fine Arts degree course by the School of Arts & Sciences, to no avail. The change reduced structure and decreased the academic independence of students who were studying fine and dramatic arts at the university.
More than ten years later, in 2018, Chadwick was invited by Howard to speak at a graduation ceremony, following the smashing success of Black Panther. During the event, he heard from the institution’s leadership that the Fine Arts course would once again become an independent school. Now, the promise is fulfilled bearing the name of the star who did everything to make it come true.
“Chad fought to preserve the Faculty of Fine Arts during his time as a student at Howard and remained dedicated to this struggle throughout his career. He would be very happy with this event,” Chadwick Boseman’s family said in a note. The new rectory of the course is also linked to the star, as it will be headed by Phylicia Rashad (The Cosby Show), one of the actor’s tutors and mentors, during his time as a student.
Howard’s leadership also said that Bob Iger, president and CEO of the Walt Disney Company, will lead a fundraiser on behalf of Boseman for the construction of a new building dedicated to Fine Arts on the university campus. The construction will also house the Communications course and the institution’s radio and TV stations.
Released in 2018, Black Panther, the film, was one of Marvel Studios’ biggest hits, winning 3 Oscars and grossing more than $ 1.3 billion at the box office. Furthermore, it has become a cultural phenomenon that has transcended cinema, being referred to by sports players and international representatives around the world. The film can be watched on the Disney + streaming platform.