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CHADWICK BOSEMAN

Actor shines in new film ‘Marshall’

How do I say this without throwing massive amounts of shade? Chadwick Boseman can’t play everybody. Can he?

The 40-year-old actor played baseball giant Jackie Robinson in “42” (2013), singer James Brown in “Get Up” (2014), and football hall of famer Floyd Little in “The Express” (2008). He cannot possibly play every Black male figure. Maybe physical similarities go out of the window when thespian skills are superior, which is a testament to his true talent.

Despite no physical resemblance at all, the Black Panther actually played Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall proudly in the new film, “Marshall.” Boseman was statuesque, articulate, and judicially demanding; all of the characteristics that Thurgood Marshall was known for. After watching the movie, I am quite certain that no current actor could have played Thurgood Marshall better.

The film, which was released on Oct. 13, followed Marshall’s early career as a NAACP lawyer. Also starring Josh Gad, Kate Hudson, and Sterling K. Brown, “Marshall” only focused on one trial, the State of Connecticut v. Joseph Spell, where a Black man was wrongfully accused of raping a White woman.

Merecedes on… Movies

I thought it was interesting that the movie used this case as its sole focal point when there were so many other bigger cases to cover, like Brown v. Board of Education. Even the smallest technicalities kept Thurgood Marshall from actually defending this case, and while Marshall was a strategic mastermind, prejudice kept him from arguing this case.

If you look really hard you’ll spot Trayvon Martin’s parents as extras in the movie. His parents were such a sweet addition to “Marshall.” Similar to Emmett Till’s mother, Mamie Till, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin have become a symbol of an unjust system. It meant a lot to see them on the big screen.

“Marshall” is an excellent film sharing a specific, unfamiliar time in Thurgood Marshall’s life. The movie is also a soft reminder that we are still fighting for social and racial justice in law and order.

 

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