Since the news of actor Chadwick Boseman’s unexpected and deeply tragic passing at 43, fellow actors and others in the entertainment industry have spoken not only of his virtue on this earth but they’ve also lauded praise onto his wife for the way she took care of him in what were ultimately his last film projects.
The very last of those performances was Boseman’s role in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. According to Buzz Feed, last night, at the 2021 Gotham Awards, which took place virtually, Boseman was recognized posthumously with the Actor Tribute award.
Accepting the honor in his place was his wife Taylor Simone Ledward, who delivered a beautiful tribute of her own not only about Boseman’s work as an actor but his character as a human being.
Ledward said of her late husband, “As an artist, an actor, and a person, Chad made a practice of telling the truth. 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—in himself, in those around him and in 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 in line with a divine purpose for your life. And so, it became how he lived his life, day in, day out. Imperfect, but determined.”
Ledward said it was this determination that allowed Boseman to participate fully in every moment, both on and off screen.
Known for his roles as historic leaders in the Black community, including Jackie Robinson, James Brown, and Thurgood Marshall, Ledward said Boseman was a “vessel to be poured into.”
She said what he was doing through his roles was “Not merely telling a story or reading lines off a page, but modeling for us a path of true fulfillment… May we not let his conviction be in vain. May our spirits be fertile soil for God’s wisdom to fall upon.”
She thanked God for his Boseman’s gifts and then spoke directly to her beloved.
“Chad, thank you. I love you. I am so proud of you. Keep shining your light on us.”
You can watch a clip from Ledward’s speech in the video below.