Chadwick Boseman's wife, Simone Ledward Boseman, made a heartfelt, emotional speech as she accepted an award on his behalf. The remarks were her first public comments since the actor passed away in August 2020 at age 43 after a private battle with colon cancer.
Chadwick was honoured with the Tribute Award at the Gotham Awards on Jan. 11, nearly five months since his passing. Simone, who appeared virtually, took some time to reflect on her late husband's legacy and how he influenced and touched everyone around him.
"As an artist, an actor, and a person, Chad made a practice of telling the truth," Simone said in remarks in which she was brought to tears.
"He is the most honest person I've ever met because he didn't just stop at speaking the truth, he actively searched for it," she continued. "In himself, in those around him and in the moment."
Chadwick Boseman’s widow cries as she accepts a Gotham award in his honor. “Chad, thank you,” says Simone Boseman. “Keep shining your light on us.” pic.twitter.com/jQidx0Yp6c
— Kyle Buchanan (@kylebuchanan) January 12, 2021
"The truth can be a very easy thing for the self to avoid, but if one does not live in truth, then it's impossible to live in line with a divine purpose for your life," she stated.
Simone also addressed how acting affected Chadwick's ability to take on roles of different characters, including transforming into real people.
"He was blessed to live many lives within his concentrated one," she explained. "He developed his understanding of what it meant to be the one, the none and the all. 'A vessel to be poured into and out of,' he'd said."
She ended her moving speech by saying, "Chad, thank you. I love you. I am so proud of you. Keep shining your light on us."
The late actor had also received a Gotham Award nomination for his role in the Netflix film Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. It's been heavily touted for awards season, with critics suggesting his performance could also be nominated for a Golden Globe Award or an Oscar.
On Nov. 29, many of Chadwick's friends and family, including his co-stars, paid tribute to the actor on what would have been his 44th birthday. These included Black Panther co-stars Michael B. Jordan and Lupita Nyong'o, and Ma Rainey's Black Bottom co-star Viola Davis.
Rest in Power, Chadwick.