Chadwick Boseman grew up in Anderson, South Carolina, with his parents Leroy and Carolyn Boseman as well as his two brothers, Derrick and Kevin.
Boseman died on August 28 at the age of 43 following a private battle with colon cancer. Boseman is survived by his wife, Taylor Simone Ledward. Boseman’s death was announced in a post on the actor’s Instagram page. The post said that Boseman was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2016 and had been battling the disease since then. The statement said that Boseman “died in his home, with his wife and family by his side.”
According to The New York Times feature on Boseman’s death, the Black Panther star was the youngest of three boys. His mother worked as a nurse and his father worked for an agricultural company as well as having an upholstery business.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Boseman’s Parents Still Live in His Hometown of Anderson, South Carolina
Chadwick Boseman told Rolling Stone in 2018 that his parents still live in Anderson, South Carolina. In 2018, when Black Panther was released, Boseman paid for more than 300 tickets to the movie for underprivileged children in his hometown.
The same report said that 460 of Boseman’s family and friends watched the movie at the AmStar 14 theater in Anderson on the opening night of Black Panther. Boseman told BET in 2018 that Black Panther was a “family experience. It’s a family movie.”
2. Boseman’s Grandmother Had 115 Grandchildren & Great-Grandchildren
Boseman said in a 2018 interview that he was raised in a Christian home and belonged to a local choir and youth group. Boseman said his family was not wealthy but they had enough. He also said that his grandmother had 115 grandchildren and great-grandchildren on one side of his family.
Boseman told Ebony Magazine in 2018 that his ancestors came from Sierra Leone and Nigeria.
In 2019, Boseman told The New York Times that in his youth he watched his father “work a lof third shifts, a lot of night shifts. Whenever I work a particularly hard week, I think of him.”
3. Boseman’s Oldest Brother Derrick Is a Preacher in Tennessee
Boseman’s oldest brother, Derrick, is a preacher in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. A Murfreesboro Daily News Journal article from April 2015 said that Derrick Boseman and his wife, Trista, began pastoring in the city in 2012. Their church has around 60 regular attendees. Derrick Boseman is quoted as saying, “I prayed and I asked God to send me some members, and he sent children.” He added that the church regularly took local children on field trips to places such as the King Center in Atlanta and Civil Rights Museum in Birmingham, Alabama, but “Sometimes we just go to the park and play basketball.”
Trista Boseman told the Daily News Journal that her husband preaches a “message of hope.” She said, “The message he’s delivering is that all things are possible with God.” Derrick Boseman said, “We want to (stop) violence, addiction, teenage pregnancy, gangs.” The couple operates the New Covenant Baptist Church. Chadwick Boseman told Rolling Stone about his brother’s church, “I think it’s Baptist.”
4. Boseman Said He Was Inspired to Become an Actor Thanks to His Brother Kevin’s Success as a Dancer
Boseman said in 2019 The New York Times interview that he was inspired to become an actor after watching his brother, Kevin, succeed as a dancer. Kevin Boseman has appeared on touring production of The Lion King and worked with the Alvin Ailey dance troupe, according to his Broadway World profile. Boseman told the Times, “He had the resolve to be, like, ‘No — I have something; I’m going to do it anyway, right or wrong. And he was right.” Boseman added, “There’s no way in the world I would have thought, ‘O.K. let me write this play’ if it wasn’t for him. Ultimately, I’m here because of what he did.” Boseman also said, “I always wanted to dress better than my middle brother, and I wanted to beat the older one in sports.”
A separate profile on Kevin Boseman said that he studied performing arts and cultural studies at SUNY Empire State College and at the Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities in nearby Greenville, South Carolina. Kevin and Chadwick Boseman both attended T.L. Hanna High School. Kevin Boseman also studied ballet at Fine Arts Center High School.
Boseman told The Grio in 2015, “My brother taught me how to dream. As I child, I would watch my brother Kevin Boseman look at recordings of ‘Revelations’ and dream of the dancer he would one day become. I’m proud to say that Kevin danced with the second company for two years, and he danced with the first company for six years.”
Boseman told Rolling Stone in 2018, “I just gave [his brothers] money, but I can’t remember what I wrote on the check.”
5. Boseman Says He Doesn’t Know Why His Mother Chose Chadwick as His First Name
In June 2018, Boseman tweeted that his mother was sad that the actor did not do the Black Panther at an awards ceremony. Boseman told Rolling Stone in 2018, “I actually don’t know why my mom chose Chadwick – it’s a weird name for a black man.”
Boseman told USA Today in 2018 that his mother was like the “Queen Mother” following the success of Black Panther. Boseman said his mother meeting his on-screen mother, Angela Bassett, was the highlight of the premiere of the movie.