Chadwick Boseman
Chadwick Boseman

“Black Panther” star and Howard University alumnus Chadwick Boseman will serve as the keynote speaker for school’s 150th commencement ceremony next month.

During the May 12 ceremony, the South Carolina native will be conferred a Doctor of Humane Letters degree.

“I’m excited to return to the Mecca in celebration of the achievements of our illustrious students,” Boseman said. “Let’s listen, learn and build with one another.”

Howard President Dr. Wayne A.I. Frederick called it an honor to welcome home one of the university’s “native sons.”

“[Boseman] has played some of the most iconic African Americans that have transformed history, including Jackie Robinson, James Brown and Howard’s own Thurgood Marshall,” said Frederick, who made the announcement Wednesday. “His recent role in the blockbuster film ‘Black Panther’ reminds us of the excellence found in the African diaspora and how places like Howard are hidden, untapped gems producing the next generation of scientists, engineers and doctors. Mr. Boseman exemplifies the monumental heights and levels Howard graduates can achieve by using the skills and knowledge they acquired at the university.”

Boseman also attended the British American Dramatic Academy at Oxford, after which he began his career as an actor, director and writer.

He made his debut in the Marvel cinematic universe as the African superhero Black Panther in Marvel Studios’ “Captain America: Civil War” in 2016, and will reprise the role later this month in Marvel’s “Avengers: Infinity War.”

Boseman’s breakout performance came in 2013 with his portrayal of the legendary Jackie Robinson in Warner Bros.’ “42.” He received the 2014 CinemaCon Male Star of Tomorrow Award, was named one of the “Top 10 Best Movie Performances of 2014” by Time Magazine and was awarded a “Virtuous Award” from the Santa Barbara International Film Festival for his portrayal of James Brown in Universal Pictures’ “Get on Up.”

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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