Here's what happens when you find out your cousin is Black Panther

Chadwick Boseman (Photo by Dominique Charriau/Getty Images for Les Chatons D’Or 2018)

If you’ve ever been to a large family reunion, you’ve probably been introduced to some distant cousin with whom you might have something in common. Maybe you look a little alike, or you have similar jobs. Now what if you went to one of these gatherings and instead discovered that your cousin has been James Brown, Thurgood Marshall, Jackie Robinson, and the Black Panther? As in: He’s actor Chadwick Boseman? That makes for a much better family reunion story.

“For so long I wondered if Chadwick Boseman was part of my family, ’cause damn our last names are spelled alike,” wrote Jemale Bozeman on Twitter Sunday. “Then I was like ‘nah’ and gave up hope. So how about at our Family Reunion guess who comes walking around the corner….that’s right MY COUSIN CHAD!!!!!”

With the post, he shared a photo of himself, the actor, and other family members.

Thanks, probably, to the overwhelming popularity of Black Panther, the tweet blew up, with envious and funny responses.

“Y’all made him say wakanda forever or no,” asked one follower. Jemale said he did not, for the record.

Other astute fans of the film drew more parallels to the movie’s familial politics.

Lala, another cousin at the gathering, joined in the conversation to explain how some branches of the family spell their name Boseman, while others use Bozeman. “It’s actually family lore that as we migrated across the country from Anderson & Belton, SC- would be misspelled in different ways. Some folks kept the Z instead,” she wrote.

Some branches of the family were large in previous generations, so it’s understandable that this connection went unnoticed until recently. Chadwick Boseman grew up in Anderson, S.C., before leaving to study at Howard University. After working in TV for several years, he got his first big role as Jackie Robinson in 42 (2013).

All celebrities have some kind of family, so it’s reasonable to assume this sort of thing happens all the time, with varying degrees of awkwardness and awe. For other entertaining accounts of what it’s like to be related to someone famous, peruse this Reddit thread, in which people tell their stories of being cousins with Megan Fox, Lucy Lawless, Keanu Reeves, and Zac Efron.

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