Simone Ledward Boseman has been the emotional center of the 2021 awards season, accepting several honors on behalf of her late husband, Chadwick Boseman. The actor posthumously earned two NAACP Image Awards this year, for outstanding supporting actor for his work in “Da 5 Bloods” and outstanding actor in a motion picture for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” While accepting the latter award during the televised ceremony on Mar. 27, Ledward Boseman used her time onscreen to advocate for cancer awareness.
“As always, he would give all honor and glory to the most high God. He would thank his Mom and Dad, and he would give honor to the ancestors as we now honor him,” Ledward Boseman began. “Thank you NAACP Image Awards for always giving him his flowers. He was an uncommon artist and an even more uncommon person, but the manner in which we lost him is not uncommon at all, not in our communities.”
Ledward Boseman cited recent statistics saying Black people are 20% more likely to be diagnosed with colon cancer and 40% more likely to die from it. She also noted that the routine screening age has recently been lowered to 45.
“If you are 45 years of age or older, please get screened. Don’t put it off any longer, please get screened,” she urged, adding, “This disease is beatable if you catch it in its early stages, so you don’t have any time to waste, even if you have no family history and even if you think that nothing is wrong. If you are younger than 45, please be proactive about your health. Know the signs and know your body — listen to your body.”
She then directed audiences to StandUpToCancer.org/coloncancersymptoms for more information.
Later in the evening, the ceremony’s In Memoriam segment aired footage of Boseman in prayer at the 2017 NAACP Freedom Fund Awards Dinner.
“Heavenly Father, thank you for allowing us to come here and celebrate our journey, celebrate our struggle,” Boseman said in the clip. “Thank you for the heroes that you have brought into our lineage and to our legacy. Thank you for the heroes that aren’t here tonight, thank you for what we have done in the past, and thank you for what you have in store for us. In Jesus’ name we pray.”
Last month, Ledward Boseman accepted the Golden Globe for best actor in a motion picture on behalf of her late husband. Boseman is also posthumously nominated for an Academy Award for best actor, which will be awarded on Apr. 25.