Chadwick Boseman’s widow pleads for cancer awareness in NAACP Awards speech

Taylor Simone Ledward asked those in the Black community to get screened for cancer when accepting her husband's posthumous award

Chadwick Boseman’s widow has urged people in the Black community to get regularly screened for cancer in an emotional acceptance speech at the NAACP Awards.

The Black Panther star died last year from complications related to colon cancer.

At the NAACP Awards last night (March 27), Boseman posthumously picked up the awards for Best Actor (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom) and Best Supporting Actor (Da 5 Bloods).


Making her acceptance speech on her late husband’s behalf, Taylor Simone Ledward said: “As always, all honour and glory to the most high God. He would thank his mom and dad, and he would give honour to the ancestors.”

While acknowledging Boseman’s “uncommon” talent, Ledward went on to say that the manner of his death “is not uncommon at all”.

Chadwick Boseman
Chadwick Boseman at the 2019 American Music Awards CREDIT: Sarah Morris/FilmMagic

She added: “He was an uncommon artist and an even more uncommon person, but the manner that we have lost him is not uncommon at all, not in our community.

“Black people in this country are 20 percent more likely to be diagnosed with colon cancer and 40 percent more likely to die from it. The age for routine screenings has recently been lowered to 45, if you are 45 years of age or older, please get screened.

“Don’t put it off any longer, please get screened. This disease is beatable if you catch it in the early stages and don’t have any time to waste even if you have no family history.”


Black Panther 2 is set to begin shooting this July, after original plans to begin production in March were delayed after the sudden death of star Boseman in August.

Marvel has revealed that there are no plans to use digital technology to have Boseman, who played King T’Challa in the 2018 film, in the sequel.

Similarly, studio boss Kevin Feige explained why he will not be replaced with another actor in Black Panther 2.

Speaking of how difficult it is to make the second film without Boseman, star Lupita Nyong’o said: “It’s going to be different, of course, without our king, to go back into that world, but I know that all of us are dedicated to reimagining or carrying on his legacy in this new Black Panther.”