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Angela Bassett Recalls Her Chance Meeting With Chadwick Boseman Years Before Black Panther

Illustration for article titled Angela Bassett Recalls Her Chance Meeting With Chadwick Boseman Years Before iBlack Panther/i
Photo: Jon Sciulli (Getty Images)

Hollywood is in mourning after news broke late Friday night that Chadwick Boseman had died of colon cancer.

Friends and industry peers have shared their grief and heartfelt memories of the late actor on social media, including Don Cheadle, Issa Rae, and Denzel Washington. One particularly touching story comes from Angela Bassett, who played Boseman’s mother in 2018's Black Panther.

“It was meant to be for Chadwick and me to be connected, for us to be family,” Bassett captioned an Instagram post made shortly after news broke about Boseman’s death. “But what many don’t know is our story began long before his historic turn as Black Panther.”

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As it turns out, the two had met years before they were both cast in the Oscar-nominated Marvel blockbuster. In 2000, Bassett received an honorary degree from Howard University and served as the commencement speaker at that year’s graduation—the same year that Boseman graduated with a BFA in Directing, Yahoo! Entertainment reports. Not only that, they even spoke to each other.

As Bassett explained in her post:

During the premiere party for Black Panther, Chadwick reminded me of something. He whispered that when I received my honorary degree from Howard University, his alma mater, he was the student assigned to escort me that day. And here we were, years later as friends and colleagues, enjoying the most glorious night ever! We’d spent weeks prepping, working, sitting next to each other every morning in makeup chairs, preparing for the day together as mother and son. I am honored that we enjoyed that full-circle experience. This young man’s dedication was awe-inspiring, his smile contagious, his talent unreal. So, I pay tribute to a beautiful spirit, a consummate artist, a soulful brother.

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“Thou art not dead, but flown afar,” Bassett continued, quoting W. E. B. Du Bois’ “A Litany of Atlanta,” which the Pan-Africanist sociologist, writer, and activist wrote in response to the Atlanta Massacre of 1906. “All you possessed, Chadwick, you freely gave. Rest now, sweet prince.”

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Toni Braxton wishes she spent more of her youth being Mrs. Chaotica.

She tells The Guardian:

I regret not having more sex when I was younger. I should have drank more. I should have partied more. Smoked more, even. I think my religious upbringing stopped me doing a lot of things that I should have done. It’s not a good look at the age I am now. The way it works is you do that stuff in your 20s and 30s and then in your 40s you’ve earned enough to pay for the therapy.

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Do right by Ms. Braxton, and go out tonight and fuck and drink and—oh, right. The pandemic. Goddammit.


Remember Rose McGowan’s iconic, barely-there dress from the 1998 MTV Video Music Awards red carpet? In a new interview with Yahoo! Entertainment, the actress-turned-director slash advocate for survivors revealed that she wore the gown as part of her healing process after convicted rapist and former Hollywood power player Harvey Weinstein assaulted her the year prior.

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“It was my first big public appearance after being sexually assaulted,” McGowan said. “I just felt like, ‘Oh, Hollywood, would you want a body just that you can use and throw away? Then I’ve got one for you!’ It was like at the end of Gladiator when he comes out and he’s like, ‘Are you not entertained?’ And if you look at me, I did it with power. I didn’t do it with my hand on my hip to be sexy.”

“They slut-shamed me like crazy,” she said of the resulting press coverage. “It was kind of hard. I hadn’t really ever dealt with global media shaming. But it prepared me for later on.”

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Freelance journalist (GQ, Esquire, Out, elsewhere), here on weekends

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Colon Cancer PSA: If anyone in your family history has ever had polyps in their colon (even if they were benign), please ask them when they were diagnosed and start pressing your primary care provider or gastroenterologist around a decade before those polyps (benign or malignant) were found in your family member. Had my mother known about this, she may have avoided being diagnosed with colon cancer at 40.

This is a great loss. Many are lauding the fact that Boseman continued to work throughout his treatment. This was his choice and we honor the choices he made. But please do not think it is necessary or important to maintain a ‘productive’ life when battling a terminal illness.