Chadwick Boseman's Wife Accepts His Posthumous NAACP Image Award with Emotional Call to Action
Chadwick Boseman was honored at the 2021 NAACP Image Awards.
On Saturday, the late star won the outstanding actor in a motion picture award for his role in Netflix's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, which was one of his final projects. Boseman died last August at age 43 after a private four-year battle with colon cancer.
Boseman's widow, Simone Ledward Boseman, virtually accepted the award for him.
"As always, he would give all honor and glory to the most high God," she tearfully began. "He would thank his mom and dad, and he would give honor to the ancestors as we now honor him. Thank you NAACP Image Awards for always giving him his flowers. He was an uncommon artist and an even more uncommon person. But the manner in which we lost him is not uncommon at all. Not in our community."
In addition, she shared an emotional call to action for colon cancer screenings and awareness about the disease. "Black people in this country are 20 percent more likely to be diagnosed with colon cancer and 40 percent more likely to die from it. The age for routine screening has recently been lowered to 45 so if you are 45 years of age or older, please get screened. Don't put it off any longer, please get screened," she said, wiping tears from her eyes.
"This disease is beatable if you catch it in its early stages so you don't have any time to waste even if you have no family history and even if you think nothing is wrong. And if you are younger than 45, please be proactive about your health. Know the signs, know the science, listen to your body. If you need more information and for a full list of colon cancer symptoms you can visit standuptocancer.org/coloncancersymptoms," she continued. "Please, you are so needed and you are so loved. Please take your health into your own hands. Thank you."
Anthony Mackie (The Banker), Delroy Lindo (Da 5 Bloods), Will Smith (Bad Boys For Life) and Forest Whitaker (Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey) were all nominated alongside Boseman, who was also honored during the In Memoriam segment.
Boseman also won the NAACP Image Award in the outstanding supporting actor category during Friday night's event.
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Earlier this month, the late Black Panther star received a posthumous award for best actor at Sunday's 26th annual Critics Choice Awards for his performance in the Netflix film Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.
And the week prior, Boseman won his first Golden Globe for best actor in a motion picture, drama for his role in the Netflix film. In January, he also won at the 30th annual IFP Gotham Awards.
He was nominated for outstanding performance by a male actor in a leading role for Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, and for outstanding performance by a male actor in a supporting role for Da 5 Bloods — his final two films. He also received two nods when both movies were nominated for outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture. (Boseman previously won a SAG Award in this category in 2019 for Black Panther.)
And on March 15, Boseman received his first-ever Oscar nomination for Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. He is the first posthumous nominee in the category since Massimo Troisi for 1995's Il Postino and the third person in Oscar history to land in the race after passing, following Ralph Richardson in 1984's Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes and Heath Ledger in 2008's The Dark Knight.
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom is based on August Wilson's 1982 play about the "Mother of Blues" Ma Rainey (Viola Davis) and her experience with white management at the time. The movie takes place in 1927 Chicago and explores the racial tension in the music world as white record executives profited off of Black artists.