“I’ve spoken ad nauseam about the important of multiculturalism in fiction, as in life. I’ve preached about the sense of validation a child feels when they see their image reflected heroically in mass media.” —Dwayne McDuffie
There’s a moment from the Jimmy Fallon Show where Chadwick Boseman surprised a fan of Black Panther, and the bewildered guy bows and mumbles “my king, my king”. It’s a small but powerful moment of representation coming full circle. There are no words for a young king who leaves with so much left unsaid, for a song forever unsung. The manner of his departure, silently stoic in the face of what must have been utter horror, like a monarch stealing out into the dark, incognito, is in of itself a dumbfounding act of effacement in an endless panoply of celebrity scrutiny.
He did it all on his own terms, and so will reign forever in the imagination.
That will have to do.