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Earlier this month, Taylor Simone Ledward, widow of the late Chadwick Boseman, accepted her husband’s Golden Globes award for his acclaimed swan song in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. At the 2021 NAACP Image Awards this past Saturday, she was on hand to receive another trophy on Boseman’s behalf, the award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture, and she shared what he would have said were he still with us in body.

“As always, he would give all honor and glory to the most high God,” Ledward said as she wiped away her tears. “He would thank his mom and dad, and he would give honor to the ancestors as we now honor him. Thank you, NAACP Image Awards, for always giving him his flowers. He was an uncommon artist and an even more uncommon person.” She then turned to the disease which took her husband, colon cancer, and called on the audience to be proactive in tackling it because “the manner in which we 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,” she pointed out. “The age for routine screening has recently been lowered to 45, so if you are 45 years of age or older, please get screened. Don’t put it off any longer; please get screened.”

Boseman was up against other noteworthy performers in the category, including his own co-star Delroy Lindo from Da 5 Bloods and Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey‘s Forest Whitaker. Boseman also won another NAACP Image Award on Saturday, in the Outstanding Supporting Actor category for the role of “Stormin'” Norman Earl Holloway in Da 5 Bloods.

Boseman continued to make history when he became the first person ever to also receive four nominations for the 2021 Screen Actors Guild Awards in the same year. As reported by Variety, he will have two chances to win in the category of Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture for his roles in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and Da 5 Bloods. Boseman is also nominated separately for his performances in those movies, respectively for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role and for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role.

Ledward concluded Saturday night with the following message to her audience, “This disease is beatable if you catch it in its early stages, so you don’t have any time to waste even if you have no family history and even if you think nothing is wrong. And if you are younger than 45, please be proactive about your health. (Her husband was 43 years old when he succumbed to colon cancer.) Know the signs, know the science, listen to your body… Please, you are so needed and you are so loved. Please take your health into your own hands. Thank you.”

Social Media Mourns The Death Of Black Panther Actor Chadwick Boseman After Four-Year Battle With Colon Cancer
Celebrity Sightings in New York City - February 13, 2018
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