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Race, Hollywood, And The Rise Of Chadwick Boseman

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HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 06: Chadwick Boseman speaks onstage during the 47th AFI Life Achievement Award honoring Denzel Washington at Dolby Theatre on June 06, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for WarnerMedia) 610265

Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Turner

Chadwick Boseman had raw talent, world-class training and the will to defy Hollywood gatekeepers. As a college student at Howard University, he had a helping hand from Denzel Washington. Boseman often spoke about the impact of that contribution and how it helped him chart his own path.

Boseman died on Friday after battling colon cancer for four years. He was 43. Today, we look at what his success reveals about race in America — and in Hollywood.

Jamil Smith, a senior writer at Rolling Stone, profiled Boseman for Time Magazine in 2018. Smith says even before the premiere of Black Panther, Boseman seemed to know what the film would mean for pop culture and how its success could reshape Hollywood.

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