Chadwick Boseman’s widow delivered a powerful and teary-eyed tribute to the late superstar during the 30th annual IFP Gotham Awards.
Simone Ledward Boseman accepted the Gotham Awards Tribute prize on Monday night, Jan. 11, 2021, saying it was an “honor to receive this award on behalf of my husband,” and that it was an “acknowledgement of not only his profound work but of his impact on this industry and this world.”
Boseman posthumously appears in the film Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom opposite Oscar winner Viola Davis, which is now streaming on Netflix.
“He is the most honest person I’d ever met. He actively searched for it, in himself, those around him and the moment. 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 life,” Ledward Boseman said.
“And so it became how he lived his life, day in, day out,” she continued. “Imperfect but determined. He was blessed to live many lives within his concentrated one. 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.”
Boseman passed away in August 2020 from colon cancer, a condition he managed to keep hidden from his colleagues and the public for four years. He was 43.
“He harnessed the power of letting go and letting God’s love shine through. He realized that when one is able to recognize that when their strength does not come from themself, they rarely mess up. That’s what he was doing when he was acting. Modeling for us a path to true fulfillment,” Ledward Boseman said.
“May we not let his conviction be in vain. May our spirits be fertile soil for God’s wisdom to fall upon. So thank you. Praise God.”
Flip the page to view a portion of her speech.