The King of Wakanda cut an inspirational figure on the big screen – both in “Black Panther” and “Avengers: Inifinity War.” It takes someone larger than life to pull off that role. So, it comes as no surprise that Chadwick Boseman is equally inspiring in real life, if not more so.
Last Saturday (May 12), “Black Panther” star returned to his alma mater – Howard University in Washington D.C. – to deliver the commencement speech to the graduating class of 2018. And it was something he was really looking forward to. “I’m excited to return to the Mecca in celebration of the achievements of our illustrious students,” he said in a statement when the news was first announced. “Let’s listen, learn and build with one another.”
The 40-year-old actor, who received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the university in 2000, talked about his school fondly, saying “Anything can happen here.”
He also addressed issues that the school has faced in his speech – like how early this year, students of the university held a successful protest to have changes in the school’s policies. “Everything that you fought for was not for yourself, it was for those who came after you,” he pointed out, noting that “The fact that you have struggled with this university that you loved is a sign that you can use your education to improve the world that you are entering.”
He also shared his insights on finding purpose. “Purpose is the essential element of you. It is the reason you are on the planet at this particular time in history. Your very existence is wrapped up in the things you are here to fulfill,” he said. “Whatever you choose for a career path, remember the struggles along the way are only meant to shape you for your purpose.”
He ended his speech with, “Press on with pride and press on with purpose. God bless you, I love you, Howard. Howard forever.”
Of course, that epic speech will not be complete without the famous Wakanda salute, which Chadwick actually gave before giving his address. He also received an honorary doctorate at the ceremony.
Congratulations to the class of 2018!