Jordan and Boseman made history together playing in “Black Panther,” which broke box office records and became a cultural phenomenon.
“I’ve been trying to find the words, but nothing comes close to how I feel,” Jordan’s message began. “I’ve been reflecting on every moment, every conversation, every laugh, every disagreement, every hug…everything. I wish we had more time.”
“One of the last times we spoke, you said we were forever linked, and now the truth of that means more to me than ever,” he added. “Since nearly the beginning of my career, starting with ‘All My Children’ when I was 16 years old you paved the way for me. You showed me how to be better, honor purpose, and create legacy. And whether you’ve known it or not…I’ve been watching, learning and constantly motivated by your greatness. I wish we had more time.”
Jordan and Boseman were linked long before 2018’s “Black Panther” was released.
Just like Jordan, the late actor played on the now-defunct soap opera “All My Children” early in his career, as the character Reggie in 2003. But Boseman only played on the soap for one week, because he didn’t like that Reggie was a gang member and had other Black stereotypes.
“It’s one of those things where you get a role, and you don’t really know,” Boseman told The Wrap last year. “When I got it, I was like, ‘This is not part of my manifesto. This is not part of what I want to do. How can I make it work? Do I say something to them about this? Do I just do it?’ And I couldn’t just do it. I had to voice my opinions.”
The role was given to Jordan once Boseman was let go.
As it turned out, Boseman sticking to his guns worked out incredibly well for him. That’s because besides inspiring Black people around the world as T’Challa in “Black Panther,” he played some of the most iconic Black men in history.
His breakout role was in the film “42,” playing Jackie Robinson, the first Black person to play in Major League Baseball. He then portrayed James Brown in “Get on Up” and Thurgood Marshall in “Marshall.”
Boseman’s final film is “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” which will stream on Netflix. It’s based on August Wilson’s classic 1982 play of the same name.
“Everything you’ve given the world … the legends and heroes that you’ve shown us we are … will live on forever,” wrote Jordan in his message. “But the thing that hurts the most is that I now understand how much of a legend and hero YOU are. Through it all, you never lost sight of what you loved most. You cared about your family , your friends, your craft, your spirit. You cared about the kids, the community, our culture and humanity. You cared about me. You are my big brother, but I never fully got a chance to tell you, or to truly give you your flowers while you were here. I wish we had more time.”
He continued: “I’m more aware now than ever that time is short with people we love and admire. I’m gonna miss your honesty, your generosity, your sense of humor, and incredible gifts. I’ll miss the gift of sharing space with you in scenes. I’m dedicating the rest of my days to live the way you did. With grace, courage, and no regrets. Is this your king!? Yes . he . is! Rest In Power Brother.”
Boseman battled colon cancer for four years without revealing it to the public.