The world let out a collective gasp of anguish this weekend when it was announced that actor Chadwick Boseman had died from colon cancer at 43 years old.
Along with his critically acclaimed and groundbreaking performance as Black Panther King T'Challa in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Chadwick also made his mark portraying a number of Black American leaders such as baseball great Jackie Robinson in 42, future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall in the legal drama Marshall and soul star James Brown in the musical biography Get On Up.
The news of his passing was first announced by The Associated Press and then confirmed via a statement on Chadwick's official Twitter account, telling the world for the first time that the star had been diagnosed with colon cancer in 2016.
He had then continued diligently filming the biggest movie franchise in the world despite his diagnosis and ongoing medical treatments.
Yet while the world is celebrating his life, talent and success and mourning such a tragic loss for his family, friends and fans, there is another important conversation that now needs to be had.
Before the world learned of his diagnosis and death, Chadwick Boseman's physical appearance was repeatedly questioned and critiqued in news headlines and even more viciously, in the comments section of his Instagram account.
In some cases, people went as far as to rip his appearance apart, saying he looked sickly, unattractive, questioning if he was on drugs and claiming that he no longer looked like the King of Wakanda.
The conversation around his appearance escalated on April 16 when he took to Instagram Live to share details of an initiative called Operation 42, which aims to help hospitals that serve African-American communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
But instead of listening to the pandemic related information he was supplying, hundreds of commenters called out his appearance, with many expressing their anger and even repulsion at how he looked.