On Saturday, March 26, wife of late Chadwick Boseman, Simone Ledward Boseman, accepted his NAACP Image Award for his performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, and shared a powerful message in honor of her late husband’s legacy.
“Thank you NAACP Image Awards for always giving him his flowers,” Simone said, speaking virtually at the event. “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.”
The Black Panther actor died last August at the age of 43 after a private battle with cancer, shocking fans and his peers in Hollywood alike.
“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,” Simone continued. “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.”
Boseman was initially diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer in 2016. Simone stressed that the “disease is beatable,” but that it’s key to be “proactive” with your health in order to catch it as early as possible.
“Please, you are so needed and you are so loved,” she said. “Please take your health into your own hands.”
Just last month, Simone tearfully accepted her husband’s Golden Globe award for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Additionally, he took home the Best Actor award at the 2021 Critics’ Choice Awards. He is also nominated for an Oscar for the performance.