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Chadwick Boseman Earns Posthumous Oscar Nomination for His Role in 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom'

Stephen Thompson
Mar 16, 2021
10:50 P.M.
Chadwick Boseman has received an Oscar nomination for the character he played in "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom"— it is his first Academy Award nod. It came about seven months after his demise.
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Chadwick Boseman may be gone, but the legacy he left behind will live on in his stead. The late actor recently earned an Oscar nomination for his role in "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom."

Boseman was nominated for Actor in a Leading Role. His name was the second one called on Monday morning when the announcement was made by actress Priyanka Chopra and her beau Nick Jonas.

Chadwick Boseman and Taylor Simone Ledward at the 69th NBA All-Star Game at United Center on February 16, 2020.  | Photo: Getty Images

Chadwick Boseman and Taylor Simone Ledward at the 69th NBA All-Star Game at United Center on February 16, 2020. | Photo: Getty Images

Aside from Boseman, other actors nominated in the category include; Riz Ahmed for "Sound of Metal," Gary Oldman for "Mank," Anthony Hopkins for "The Father," and Steven Yeun for "Minari."

Boseman passed away in August 2020. At the time of his passing, "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom'' had still been in post-production. The beloved actor lost his life three months before the movie's premiere.

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In the Netflix movie about the influential singer Ma Rainey, Boseman plays Levee Green— a genius trumpet player who had ambitions of getting out from under her shadow to compose his music. It was his last onscreen role.

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Boseman's nomination makes it the seventh time an actor has been honored posthumously in the Best Actor and Supporting Actor category from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.

T'Challa in "Black Panther" was a cultural phenomenon.

His performance in "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" also won him the Best Movie Actor award last month at the Golden Globe Awards. His surviving wife, Simone Ledward Boseman, accepted the award in his stead.

She gave an emotional acceptance speech even though she admitted that it did not do justice to what he would have said had he been alive.

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She said, "He would say something beautiful, something inspiring. Something that would amplify that little voice inside of all of us that tells you you can. That tells you to keep going ... and I don't have his words."

Ledward made a good point— her husband's word had a lot of influence, almost as much as his acting. His role as T'Challa in "Black Panther" was a cultural phenomenon that bred unity at a time when the nation was getting divided by racism.

Truly, he had a voice, it was one he used to the best of his abilities while alive, and one that is greatly missed. Rest in power, Chadwick Boseman.

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