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SC native is the first black lead of a Marvel movie, now he’s on the cover of Time

SC native Chadwick Boseman in Marvel’s “Black Panther”

T'Challa, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king.
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T'Challa, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king.

Playing a trailblazer is nothing new for Chadwick Boseman.

The Anderson native has portrayed Hall of Fame player Jackie Robinson, who broke baseball’s race line, musical icon and S.C. native James Brown and Thurgood Marshall, the first black justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Boseman is about to make another breakthrough. He will be the first black leading actor in a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie, starring as the “Black Panther.”

Before the movie based on the comic book opens in theaters worldwide next Friday, Boseman will achieve another milestone. The actor is featured on the cover of Time magazine.

Boseman, who was born in South Carolina in 1977, was raised in Anderson, where he graduated from T. L. Hanna High School in 1995. He graduated from Howard University before embarking on a career in acting. After building a résumé in television, Boseman made his breakthrough on the big screen, playing Robinson in “42.”

He’s appeared in several films since then, including lead roles in “Get On Up,” “Message from the King” and “Marshall.” He made his debut in the Marvel Universe playing T’Challa/Black Panther in “Captain America: Civil War.”

“You might say that this African nation is fantasy,” Boseman told Time. “But to have the opportunity to pull from real ideas, real places and real African concepts, and put it inside of this idea of Wakanda – that’s a great opportunity to develop a sense of what that identity is, especially when you’re disconnected from it.”

For all of the firsts Boseman has achieved, or brought to life with his acting, he isn’t the first South Carolinian featured on the cover of Time. Several Palmetto State natives have been featured on the cover of the prestigious newsmagazine, most recently former S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, in 2017.

Other newsworthy S.C. figures to appear on the cover of Time include Strom Thurmond (1948), Althea Gibson (1957), Jesse Jackson (1970, 1983, 1984, 1988), Joe Frazier (1971), William “Refrigerator” Perry (1986), Donna Rice (1987), Susan Smith (1994), Jasper Johns (1997), Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church (2015), Stephen Colbert (2015) and Viola Davis (2017) among others.

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