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Black Panther 2019 Avengers screenshot

It’s hard to believe that Black Panther and 42 actor Chadwick Boseman has been gone for almost two months at this point. The loss still feels raw, the actor’s impact still indelible. So, when the Avengers assembled for a one-off night of fundraising for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, his absence was felt and seen, becoming all the more notable after Harris spoke out about her connections to Boseman over the years.

In fact, Kamala Harris took the opportunity to speak a little bit about her “friend” Chadwick Boseman. Though they were more than a decade apart in age, Harris and Boseman actually both attended the same university and knew one another. During the “Voters Assemble” event, Kamala Harris touched on the loss of the Black Panther actor, noting,

You know, actually where I am now, the studio from my DC headquarters - if you will - is at Howard University. And that’s, Chadwick and I actually both attended Howard University and I think about him all the time, there are monuments and memorials set up on campus to him and he was a very dear friend.

This wasn’t the first time that Kamala Harris has touched on Chadwick Boseman’s passing, as she was one of the many notable names in culture who shared condolences after the news broke back in August. Even directors and fellow co-stars seemed unaware of Boseman's cancer struggles prior to his passing, so the news was a huge shock for those who knew the actor personally as well as for those who had followed his career through big screen ventures and his rise to becoming a household name.

Both Harris and Boseman not only attended Howard University, a DC institution since the late 19th century, and were also big supporters of the college , as Senator Harris delivered a commencement address in 2017.

Chadwick Boseman did the same thing a year later in 2018. He noted at the time it was his university education in Washington DC that allowed him to become the actor he eventually became. (With a little help from Denzel Washington and Oxford of course.)

I stand here today knowing that my Howard University education prepared me to play Jackie Robinson, James Brown, Thurgood Marshall and T’Challa.

The Zoom fundraiser wasn’t all somber notes, as trivia and plenty of Avengers references were included as part of the broadcast. However, outside of the political stuff, it’s the Boseman moment that stands out. Chris Evans, Don Cheadle, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey Jr., Zoe Saldana and more may have been present for the event, but Boseman’s absence was obviously felt among those heavy hitters.

It will continue to be felt as the MCU is ushered into Phase 4 and beyond. We’ll keep you updated every step of the way. Next up, the MCU will see Black Widow back on the big screen, though her first solo venture has been delayed several times during 2020 and was recently shuffled into 2021.

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