For those who worked with and loved Chadwick Boseman, I am sure the pain of contemplating someone else in the role of T’Challa must be acute. You have my deepest condolences and sympathy. However, I believe that through his life and art, that he calls to us to rise above our personal feelings of loss and pain, to move forward, even if it is hard.

T’Challa is arguably most significant character in the MCU. He has become a cultural touchstone, a symbol of pride, honor, and hope—a strong black male role model for a whole generation of children. By not allowing the character to continue, you are cutting off the legacy of that character.

The creative loss is one thing, but there is another, more important thing to consider:

In not recasting the role, you are unintentionally saying that you don’t believe any other black man on Earth is capable of playing the part, and you’re not going to give anyone the chance. You’re shutting the door. Not just for actors, but for all the children who idolized T’Challa, who wanted to grow up to be him.

Haven’t people of color had enough shut doors, of being told ‘no you can’t?’

This is your choice. Keep the door shut, or you can tell children of color that they can become heroes, that they can achieve great things, that they are good enough, and that it is worth it to try, whether in acting, or in life.

If it helps, do not think of it as replacing brother Boseman, for replacing him is impossible, but succeeding him. The mark he made is indelible and his contribution to culture will be a source of joy and inspiration for generations to come. Keeping T’Challa alive would keep his legacy alive, a symbol of hope that cannot be extinguished by his passing.

As those who knew him best, I will leave you with one last thing to contemplate: Would brother Boseman, by his death, have wanted any role or opportunity denied other black men?

Rest In Power, Brother Boseman.