During the 26th Critics’ Choice Awards on Sunday night, Chadwick Boseman posthumously received the award for Best Actor for his performance as the character Levee Green in the biographical drama film Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Boseman was nominated alongside several other popular actors, including Ben Affleck as Jack Cunningham in The Way Back, Riz Ahmed as Ruben Stone in Sound of Metal, Tom Hanks as Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd in News of the World, Anthony Hopkins as Anthony in The Father, Delroy Lindo as Paul in Da 5 Bloods, Gary Oldman as Herman J. Mankiewicz in Mank and Steven Yuen as Jacob Yi in Minari.

Boseman’s widow, Simone Ledward Boseman, accepted the Best Actor award for her late husband. Due the COVID-19 pandemic, Boseman was forced to appear on a video screen like many people instead of physically attending the ceremony to accept the award for Chadwick. During her speech, Boseman held back tears as she stressed the important impact her husband made on ther family and the entertainment industry.

“Wow,” she said. “It has to be said aloud that for those of us who know Chad intimately, personally, professionally, those he taught, those he gave a word of advice, those who taught him — it is so hard to find a celebratory feeling in these moments, As proud as we are of him, yes for his work, but even more just for who he is as a person. But his work deserves this. His work in this film deserves this. He deserves this, and so he would always thank God first and foremost in everything. He would always honor his mother and his father. He would always acknowledge those who came before him, those who charted the path, those who gave him their gifts. He may say something about the importance of this story. About the importance of Black voices telling Black stories. He may take this moment to give honor to August Wilson, one of the greatest playwrights of our time. And, as I recently read, societies grow great when all men plant trees in their shade. They know they may never sit, and our society may be a far cry from great, but I know that the seeds you planted will grow into forests. And one day we too will be tall enough to reach the heavens. Thank you, Critics’ Choice and thank you, Chad.”

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