After his magnetic performance in August Wilson’s acclaimed drama, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, which debuted on Netflix in December 2020, Chadwick Boseman will receive a posthumous honor. The late actor, who passed away last summer after a 4-year battle with colon cancer, will receive the Performance of the Year Award by the Critic’s Choice Association at their third annual Celebration of Black Cinema.
Portraying the troubled yet inspiring role of Levee in the Netflix drama directed by George C. Wolfe (Topdog/Underdog), written by Ruben Santiago-Hudson (Stick Fly), and produced by Denzel Washington (Fences), Boseman ignited our screens for what would be his final performance. Levee is the trumpet player for Ma Rainey, who’s aspirations and goals are what encapsulates the dream for Black America: hard work, grit, and an uncompromising passion. He is joined on screen by other stage legends Tony winner Viola Davis (King Hedley II), Tony nominee Colman Domingo (The Scottsboro Boys), and Glynn Turman (A Raisin In the Sun).
Although Boseman is most remembered for his groundbreaking role as King T’Challa/Black Panther in the Marvel film “Black Panther,” he is no stranger to the stage. After graduating from Howard Unversity with a BFA in Directing, Boseman set his sights on acting, directing, and playwriting. He is a former Drama League Directing Fellow and an AUDELCO winner for his role in Urban Transitions.
Along with the award, a donation will be made in Boseman’s honor to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Gold Program. The Academy describes the program as a “talent development, diversity, and inclusion initiative to provide individuals, with a focus on underrepresented communities, access, and resources to achieve their career pathways in filmmaking.”
The digital event will be shared with the public on Saturday, February 6 on KTLA.
You can now watch Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom streaming on Netflix