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Taylor Simone Ledward paid a beautiful tribute to her late husband Chadwick Boseman as he took home best actor for Ma Rainey's Black Bottom at the Critics' Choice Awards on Sunday. While accepting the award on his behalf, Ledward first reflected on how hard it has been to "find a celebratory feeling in these moments" following his untimely death at age 43 in August 2020.
She then went on to note all the people he would give thanks to, including God, his parents, and "those who came before him." She added that he would likely say "something about the importance" of the film, including "the importance of Black voices telling Black stories."
She concluded her speech by reflecting on Boseman's legacy as she recited a Greek proverb. "As I recently read, societies grow great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in. And our society may be a far cry from great, but I know that the seeds you planted will grow in forests and one day we too will be tall enough to reach the heavens. Thank you, Critics' Choice, and thank you, Chad." See more photos of her speech ahead.