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August 28th – A Date of Historical Significance for African Americans

“Those that follow most often enjoy the results of the progress you gain.”    

-Chadwick Boseman

August 28, 2020 marked 67 days until the most important election of our time transpires – on November 3, 2020.  What will our world look like on November 4, 2020?

As I sat and pondered this question, it occurred to me that many notable moments that have impacted African American culture took place on August 28th.  The significance of August 28th for African Americans includes events occurring over the past century listed below.  I invite you to consider that each of these events was a catalyst for cultural and societal change.

  • August 28, 1833 – The Slavery Abolition Act received “Royal Assent” and took effect on August 1, 1834. 
  • August 28, 1955 – Emmitt Till was brutally murdered. 
  • August 28, 1961 – First Motown Record played on the radio “Please Mr. Postman” by the Marvalettes. 
  • August 28, 1963 – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech during the March on Washington. 
  • August 28, 2005 – Hurricane Katrina resulted in the deaths of over 1,000 people in Louisiana.  The majority of these casualties were African Americans.   
  • August 28, 2008 – Senator Barack Obama accepted the Democratic Nomination for President of the United States. 
  • August 28, 2020 – The day that the great actor, Chadwick Boseman lost his 4-year battle with cancer at the age of 43. 

Although every date listed above has significance, the loss of Chadwick Boseman, our brilliant actor that brought King T’Challa to life in Black Panther was a monumental loss.  The grief and sadness expressed as I perused media outlets and social media timelines seemed to be felt by many.  However, the most heart wrenching grief was expressed by African Americans.  In particular, those who attended the great Howard University, in Washington, D.C.  Chadwick received an honorary Doctorate from his alma mater and delivered the 150th Commencement Keynote Speech in 2018.  In addition to his role as King T’Challa in Black Panther, Chadwick Boseman brought to life historical African American men on the big screen (Jackie Robinson in “42”, Thurgood Marshall in “Marshall”, James Brown in “Get On Up” amongst others).  August 28th will now be remembered as the day we lost our superhero. 

Rest easy King.  Thank you for being a true SUPERHERO on and off the big screen.  You have paved the way for generations to come.  Wakanda Forever.    

Photo Credit:  Sam Jones via Facebook

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