Chadwick Boseman stepped up to the SAG Awards podium with the spirit of the ancestors controlling his tongue when the actor accepted the award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture for the historic blockbuster film, Black Panther.
Standing alongside his castmates, Boseman delivered a fiery speech highlighting what it’s like to be “young, gifted, and Black” in Hollywood.
“We all know what it’s like to be told that there is not a place for you to be featured, yet you are young gifted and Black,” said Boseman.
“We know what it’s like to be told that there is not a screen for you to be featured on, a stage for you to be featured on. We know what it’s like to be the tail and not the head. We know what it’s like to be beneath and not above,” he explained to those in the audience, which gave the cast a standing ovation.
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Boseman added that he and his fellow actors might not have been able to predict the movie’s success, but that they still approached their roles with purpose.
“We knew that we had something special that we wanted to give the world, that we could be full human beings in the roles that we were playing, that we could create a world that exemplified a world that we wanted to see,” he said onstage. “We knew that we had something that we wanted to give.”
When the show’s producers tried to cut his impassioned speech short, Boseman clapped back telling them plainly: “Don’t give me the music.”
Instead, he went on to thank everyone in the room and reminded them that there would soon be a Black Panther sequel.