Tributes and encounters with Chadwick Boseman are sweeping across the internet after the news of his tragic passing made headlines on Friday. One story in particular, has taken Twitter by storm. A tweet from Trevor Reece, a former clerk at L.A.’s Samuel French Film & Theater bookshop, recounted the time when he got to meet the late actor and witness a charitable act that he would never forget.
“He didn’t bring any attention to himself, just wanted to find a few new plays,” he writes. “But then this young actor, 20 something black man, comes up to him and starts talking. 30 mins later, they are still chatting. Chadwick taking the time to give this guy advice, speaking to what’s it’s like to be a black man in this industry, how to navigate it. The actor thanks him for his time and continues looking for books.”
Chadwick then decided to pay it forward by helping out the young actor in the selfless manner many peers have lauded.
“Chadwick comes up to the counter and buys the few plays he found, but then, he has another stack,” Reece writes. “They’re books he recommended to the actor and he wants to buy them. He then has me hold the books behind the counter for this guy and takes off. He didn’t want thanks. He just wanted to make sure this young man was taken care of and had access to resources he would need to succeed. Chadwick Boseman was the King of Wakanda. He was James Brown and Jackie Robinson. But above all that, he was a good man.”
I got to meet @chadwickboseman once while I worked Samuel French film & theater bookshop. He didn’t bring any attention to himself, just wanted to find a few new plays. But then this young actor, 20 something black man, comes up to him and starts talking.
— Trevor Reece (@trevorcopter) August 29, 2020
Chadwick is no stranger to the concept of paying it forward. In a 2018 interview with Jimmy Fallon, the “Black Panther” star revealed that Denzel Washington once paid for his tuition to attend Oxford University in England to study acting. Chadwick then told Jimmy about the time he finally met Denzel at the premiere of “Black Panther.”
“He [Denzel] was like, ‘I haven’t met you yet.’ And I said, ‘Yeah, I gotta tell you something. You paid for me to go to school,” Chadwick explained. “He said, ‘Oh, so that’s why I’m here. You owe me money.'”