The late Chadwick Boseman was honored with the Best Actor award at the 12th annual African American Film Critics Association Awards on Wednesday.
Boseman, who died of cancer at age 43 last year, won for his performance in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” which was released to Netflix in November. He portrayed trumpet player Levee Green in the adaptation of August Wilson’s 1982 play. It was his final screen performance.
The AAFCA announced its winners last month ahead of its virtual ceremony honoring awardees on Wednesday.
Boseman’s wife, Taylor Simone Ledward, accepted the award on his behalf.
“Thank you so much for honoring my husband’s work with an AAFCA Best Actor award,” she said during her speech, in part. “He would be so grateful for the recognition of everything that he gave to Levee Green. While the work would always remain paramount, the work is made possible by the process. The process allows you to reach your inner voice, so you have to protect it.”
“Thank you, Chad, for always doing the work,” she later added.
Boseman’s performance in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” has earned him wide praise this award season.
He posthumously won a Golden Globe for the role in the Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama category in February. In March, his performance earned him an Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture award at the NAACP Image Awards. He also won an Image Award for his role in “Da 5 Bloods,” which also released to Netflix last year.
Boseman became the first person to earn four Screen Actors Guild film nominations in a single year this year. He won in the Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role in a Motion Picture category at the ceremony earlier this month, also for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.”
The Levee Green role also earned him an Oscar nomination for lead actor last month.
Viola Davis, who starred in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” in the title role, accepted the AAFCA’s Icon Award on Wednesday.
“I have been blessed and fortunate in every single way to be able to literally give you all the human beings, the Black and brown human beings that I’ve embodied, and to give them to you and to help you to feel less alone through their stories,” she said in her speech. “I thank you for this honor. I will continue to leave a legacy of hope, of life, of humor, of pathos, of humanity for as long as God will have me here.”
The AAFCA Awards aired to a private audience on Wednesday but will be presented to the public on April 17 and 18 on the AAFCA Channel on Comcast’s Xfinity, the organization stated.