New Chadwick Boseman mural brightens up East Flatbush

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Artist Kenny Altidor poses with his latest mural of the late Chadwick Boseman.
Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

Brooklyn artist Kenny Altidor is at it again, bringing a Black hero back to life in East Flatbush.

Altidor on Sunday unveiled a mural dedicated to the late actor Chadwick Boseman, best known for his starring role as “Black Panther.” Boseman died in August at the age of 43 after a long, private battle with colon cancer.

The mural, on the wall of Family Altagracia Carribean Food on Clarendon Road and East 56th Street, gained wide praise from the community.

A resident of Canarsie, Altidor has been busy painting tributes to people like George Floyd and late rapper and Canarsie native Pop Smoke. In the past, Altidor has paid tribute to fallen police officers, firefighters and other first responders.

His latest work aims to “inspire the community to achieve greatness,” he said.

“Boseman is like a role model to me and the kids in the community,” Altidor said. “Spiderman, Batman, Ironman – they are all white people. He’s the one Black guy who actually became an African American superhero.”

Stephanie Lane poses with the new mural of Chadwick Boseman on East 54th Street and Clarendon Road.Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

The artist said he was touched by Boseman’s ability film some of his best work while suffering from the disease.

““It showed excellence and Black power, well beyond fighting bad guys,” Altidor said. “He was more like a Barack Obama to African American people — a good role model. He played important roles like Jackie Robinson in ’42,’  a judge in ‘Thurgood,’ and more recently ’21 Bridges’ in which he plays a crusading police detective battling corrupt cops.

“Even when he was sick, he was out the mentoring people,” he went on, “and even though he died at age 43, in that little time, he became a superhero, but not just for African Americans, but for everyone. So inspiring.”

Altidor’s next project will be a mural of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died on Sept. 18 at the age of 87. He is still looking for an appropriate location — one he hopes will pay tribute to her Jewish faith and Midwood roots.

This story first appeared on AMNY.com.