Boseman did not specify what soap opera he was talking about. Boseman felt the role played on stereotypes. "But I found myself conflicted". "The role seemed to be wrapped up in assumptions about us as black folk - hardly any positivity". Although he got compliments on his performance, he said, executives fired him after he questioned the way the character was written.
"What do you do when the principles that were instilled at you at Howard close the door?" "Sometimes you need to get knocked down before you realise what you're really fighting against".
"I don't know what your future is", Boseman said, "but if you're willing to take the harder way, the more complicated one, the one with more failures at first than successes. then you will not regret it".
Boseman referenced student protests about a financial aid scandal and for more affordable tuition and housing on campus, telling them that he too spoke out against what he saw as problems when he attended nearly 20 years ago. In April, students took over the administration building for eight days to demand change.
"The light of new realization shines on you today", Boseman said.
The King has arrived!
"Purpose is an essential element of you", he said. "Howard's legacy is not wrapped up in the money you will make, but the challenges you choose to confront".
ERIC THAYER / Reuters Boseman at Howard University on Saturday.
He ended the speech by urging graduates to find their own goal in the world, which he said was more important than simply a job or career.
Congratulations to the @HowardU Class of 2018 and Dr. Chadwick Boseman! "Don't just swallow the moment whole without digesting what has actually happened here". "When God has something for you, it doesn't matter who stands against it", he said.
The university also conferred its highest honour, an honourary degree, Doctor of Humane Letters, on the actor. Boseman said he will lead a campaign to create a separate college of fine arts at the university; at present, Howard has a division of fine arts.
Boseman ended his remarks with the now-famous salute from his $1.3 billion-grossing movie, saying "Howard forever".