Disneyland has unveiled a mural tribute in memory of late Chadwick Boseman in Downtown Disney shopping district.
The work of art by artist Nikkolas Smith depicts Boseman holding up the iconic Wakanda salute with a young boy in a Black Panthermask.
The simple, yet powerful, image underscores the importance the character of King T’Challa was for racial diversity and inclusion on the big screen.
Smith shared photos of his work on Instagram: “This one is special. My King Chad tribute is now on a wall on display at Downtown Disney. It is a full circle moment for me: my final two projects as a Disney Imagineer last summer were working on the Children’s Hospital project and the Avengers Campus.”
The child in the mural is wearing a hospital gown, to honour the late “Black Panther” star who visited children with cancer at St. Jude campus, while waging a private battle with the disease. The installation is titled “King Chad.”
“To millions of kids, T’Challa was a legend larger than life, and there was no one more worthy to fill those shoes than Chadwick Boseman. I’m so thankful to be able to honour Chadwick’s life and purpose in this way. I am grateful to the Disney family for being so supportive of my journey as an artist.”
Boseman passed away in August at the age of 43 after a 4-year battle with colon cancer. He was remembered far and wide by fans, directors, producers, actors, influencers, and even former President Barack Obama. The actor played T’Challa across four movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. His standalone feature in 2018, Black Panther, made over $1 billion at the global box office and went on to take home three Academy Awards. It was also nominated for Best Picture.
Throughout his career, Boseman portrayed a number of influential African American figures like baseball Jackie Robinson, musician James Brown, and the first Black Supreme Court Justice, Thurgood Marshall.