In mock funerals and `42' jerseys, kids mourn Black Panther

NEW YORK (AP) — In their driveways or in their bedrooms, using little cardboard boxes or piles of backyard dirt, young fans of “Black Panther” star Chadwick Boseman paid their respects with lots of Wakanda salutes and mock funerals attended by action figures.Soon after the shocking news of Boseman’s death Friday at age 43, parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles began posting photos of funerals staged by kids for King T’Challa, the actor’s lead character from the Marvel blockbuster. Some of those posts have been shared thousands of times amid an outpouring of grief from admirers of all ages who were unaware he had been battling colon cancer for four years.Other young fans mourned in more private ways, watching “Black Panther” and “42” for the umpteenth time with their families in Boseman’s honor.To many kids, his passing was a life event, driven by the change-makers he portrayed but also by his heartfelt comments in awards speeches and interviews about the need for more opportunities for people of color.Boseman’s King T’Challa, ruler of the fictional African nation of Wakanda, was introduced in 2016′s “Captain America: Civil War.” His “Wakanda Forever” salute reverberated around the world after the release of “Black Panther” two
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