Chadwick Boseman's Wife Gives A Heartbreaking Acceptance Speech At The Critics' Choice Awards

Chadwick Boseman's performance in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom has received significant buzz and acclaim so far this awards season — and the Critics' Choice Awards were no exception. As People reported, the actor won a posthumous award for Best Actor, which was accepted by his widow, Taylor Simone Ledward. She paid tribute to her late husband in an emotional speech, admitting that it was "so hard" to celebrate without Boseman.

"Wow. It has to be said aloud that for those of us who know Chad intimately, personally, professionally, those he taught, those he gave a word of advice, those who taught him — it is so hard to find a celebratory feeling in these moments," Ledward admitted tearfully, per Access Hollywood. "As proud as we are of him, yes for his work, but even more just for who he is as a person."

"But his work deserves this. His work in this film deserves this. He deserves this, and so he would always thank God first and foremost in everything," she continued. "He would always honor his mother and his father. He would always acknowledge those who came before him, those who charted the path, those who gave him their gifts." But that's not all.

Chadwick Boseman gave his award-winning performance while being treated for colon cancer

Chadwick Boseman unexpectedly died in August 2020 from colon cancer, after hiding his illness from the public for four years. The Black Panther star was only 43.

Taylor Simone Ledward continued her touching tribute by speaking about how important the film, which is based on a play by August Wilson, had been to him. "He may say something about the importance of this story. About the importance of Black voices telling Black stories. He may take this moment to give honor to August Wilson, one of the greatest playwrights of our time," she added.

"And, as I recently read, societies grow great when all men plant trees in their shade. They know they may never sit, and our society may be a far cry from great, but I know that the seeds you planted will grow into forests. And one day we too will be tall enough to reach the heavens. Thank you, Critics' Choice and thank you, Chad," Ledward concluded, making sure that there was not one dry eye at the ceremony.

According to the Los Angeles Times, it has been widely speculated that Boseman's performance in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom will earn him a lead actor Oscar nomination. Only seven actors have ever been nominated for an Academy Award posthumously. Soon, Boseman might be joining the ranks of Jeanne Eagels, James Dean, Spencer Tracy, Peter Finch, Ralph Richardson, Massimo Troisi, and Heath Ledger. And, while it's sad that he cannot be here to celebrate his success, Ledward continues to honor Boseman's legacy with the love and praise he deserves.