Chadwick Boseman has played many roles in his life: Jackie Robinson, King T’Challa, James Brown. But one of his more important and formative roles was as a Howard University student. He had talked about how formative his years at the college were and recently, Howard University honors Chadwick Boseman by renaming the newly re-established College of Fine Arts after him.
Dean Phylicia Rashad, who will lead the newly minted Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts, said, “Unrelenting in his pursuit of excellence, Chadwick was possessed with a passion for inquiry and a determination to tell stories — through acting, writing, and directing — that revealed the beauty and complexity of our human spirit.”
Congratulations to all the future students of the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts!
— Chadwick Boseman (@chadwickboseman) May 26, 2021
Boseman had a particular soft spot for the College of Fine Arts and he led a protest against the College of Fine Arts’ absorption into the College of Arts & Sciences in 1997, which he mentioned in his commencement address in 2018:
Famed author Ta-Nehisi Coates, who attended Howard University at the same time as Boseman, recalls how impressed he was by the passionate young student:
“One of my outstanding memories of him as a public figure is of him being one of the leaders of the protest to preserve the College of Fine Arts, which we knew even at that time, had turned out so many alumni like Donny Hathaway, Roberta Flack, Phylicia Rashad and Debbie Allen. That was very present to us. We were all mourning when they shut it down. For him to go out into the world, to take the knowledge that he had acquired at Howard University, and become the artist that he became — obviously we all mourn his passing much, much, much too early — but I know how important that college was to him. And given everything that he gave, I don’t know who else it could be named after. It feels totally appropriate for who he was.”
In addition to Howard University honoring Chadwick Boseman, The Walt Disney Company’s executive chairman Bob Iger will lead fundraising efforts to build a new facility for the College of Fine Arts and start an endowment in the Black Panther star’s name. It was a slap in the face to many after Chadwick Boseman’s Oscar loss, with social media calling foul and saying that Hollywood exploited his death, but Howard University and Disney’s announcements are both steps forward in honoring this talented actor.
Howard University honors Chadwick Boseman is great news, and you can donate to the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts, by visiting https://giving.howard.edu/BosemanCollegeOfFineArts
Featured image via Marvel
Keilin Huang is a freelance writer that likes the Oxford comma, reading from her neverending pile of books from the library, and Reeses peanut butter cups. She thanks her Dad for introducing her to his Superman comics and probably majored in Journalism because of Lois Lane.