Chadwick Boseman’s widow honors late actor in moving Gotham Awards acceptance speech

Chadwick Boseman was honored at the 2021 IFP Gotham Awards, which were held Monday night in New York City.

Variety reports Boseman was honored throughout the night in acceptance speeches from co-star Viola Davis, Sound of Metal’s Riz Ahmed who took home Best Actor, and director André Holland who worked with Boseman on the Jackie Robinson biopic 42.

A video tribute also played that highlighted the late actor’s most prolific work.

The most emotional speech came from Boseman’s wife, Taylor Simone Ledward, who tearfully accepted the Actor Tribute Award on her husband’s behalf.

“As an artist, an actor, and a person, Chad made a practice of telling the truth.  He is the most honest person I’ve ever met,” said Ledward. “Because he didn’t just stop at speaking the truth, he actively searched for it—in himself, in those around him and in the moment.”

“And so, it became how he lived his life, day in, day out. Imperfect, but determined,” she added, saying his mantra allowed him to live his life to the fullest every day and “be totally present in his own life and the lives of the people he became.”

“He realized when one is able to recognize that their strength does not come from themself, they rarely mess up,” said Ledward. “That’s what he was doing when he was acting. Not merely telling a story or reading lines off a page, but modeling for us a path of true fulfillment.”

She ended her speech with, “Chad, thank you. I love you. I am so proud of you. Keep shining your light on us.”

The Black Panther star died after a years-long, private battle with colon cancer at the age of 43 last August.

By Megan Stone
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