In the days after Chadwick died, parents began sharing photos of their children holding memorials for the real-life superhero using Avenger action figures. A picture of one boy’s moving tribute — which included a box draped in black and several vases filled with flowers — quickly went viral, racking up more than 66K retweets.
“He was a good role model to me and Black boys because he let me know Black boys can be heroes too,” the kid in the photo, Kian Westbrook, told CNN a few days later. “When I found out he died, I felt very sad. I was crying and couldn’t stop talking about him.”
The 7-year-old’s father, King Westbrook, added, “There is absolutely nothing more important to me than my children, and I believe Kian is that much better that he got to see the kind and intelligent human being that Chadwick was. A great Black man, a great American.”
In a lengthy Instagram post on Aug. 31, Chadwick’s Black Panther co-star, Michael B. Jordan, explained how he plans to remember his “brother,” who he’s known since the beginning of his career.
“I’m more aware now than ever that time is short with people we love and admire,” the 33-year-old, who played Erik Killmonger in the Marvel movie, wrote. “I’m dedicating the rest of my days to live the way you did. With grace, courage, and no regrets.”