‘Wakanda Forever’: S.C. boy honors memory of Chadwick Boseman in viral photo

‘Wakanda Forever’: S.C. boy honors memory of Chadwick Boseman in viral photo

GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. (WYFF) - Carter Sweeney loves to play with his Marvel superhero action figures.

But he’s not shy about telling you his favorite. It’s the Black Panther.

“He’s awesome,” said Sweeney. “He’s Black like me.”

The 5-year-old superhero fan from Greenville County loves the Black Panther so much, he’s seen the movie more than a dozen times, and dressed up as a character from the film two years ago for Halloween.

His enthusiasm has now taken him viral across social media platforms after his mom posted a picture of him paying tribute to Chadwick Boseman, shortly after the Anderson County native’s death.

The photo shows Sweeney sitting among a circle of his Avengers superheroes, which are standing up.

In the center of the circle is the Black Panther figure, laying down. He’s seen crossing his arms, a signature move for Boseman’s character, King T’Challa.

“I thought it’d just be a few likes and we’d go about our day,” said Sweeney’s mom, Sade Berry of the post.

As it turns out, its already generated more than 30,000 likes and more than 80,000 shares on Facebook.

The photo was inspired by Sweeney’s sister after she saw other tributes to Boseman online. Being the fan she knew her brother was, she suggested he also pay tribute.

“She was a little sad by (Boseman’s death), so was (Sweeney) and she said, ‘Yeah, let’s do the same thing, so we can honor him,’ and I said that’d be wonderful,” said Berry.

The picture has also made its way to celebrities. Mark Ruffalo posted the photo of Sweeney to his Instagram account Sunday afternoon.

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Ruffalo played the Incredible Hulk in Marvel’s Avengers Series.

Berry said Boseman became a role model for her son after the Black Panther.

“He was just very excited to see somebody on screen that looks similar to him,” she said.

Sweeney’s dad agreed.

“It was something very special for our culture, for African Americans, to know that someone like them, who’s on the screen, can break down barriers to show that it’s not all about other people, just us in general. We can be anything possible,” said Brandon Sweeney.

While Boseman is no longer with us, the impact he leaves on Carter Sweeney will likely last.

“Wakanda forever!” Sweeney exclaimed.

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