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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 24: Chadwick Boseman poses in the press room during the 2019 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on November 24, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.

“I am hearing stories of desperation from people all over the country, and we know our communities are suffering the most and urgently need help,” Chadwick Boseman wrote in the caption of a video that the Black Panther actor shared on Instagram, announcing the donation of $4.2 million dollar donation in personal protective equipment (PPE)  to hospitals serving the black community by Thomas Tull and FIGS.

“Celebrating #JackieRobinsonDay with the launch of Thomas Tull’s #Operation42, a donation of 4.2 million dollars in personal protective equipment (PPE) to hospitals that service the African American communities who have been hit the hardest by the Covid-19 pandemic.”

“Thank you, Jackie, for refusing to accept the world as it is, for showing us that we can make a difference,” Boseman also wrote. In the video, Boseman explained that April 15 is Jackie Robinson Day, which was more than an appropriate day to make the huge announcement.

“It’s April 15th. It’s Jackie Robinson Day. That’s right. It’s still Jackie Robinson Day. I can’t think of a better time to remember my hero. Many of you out there in this time that we’re in. This pandemic. I can’t think of a better way to commemorate everything that he was about and to announce the partnership between Tulco and Figs. You know Figs is one of the companies that’s a designer and manufacturer of modern medical apparel and Tulco is basically my friend, Thomas Tull, who through the company Legendary produced 42,” Boseman said in the video.

Chadwick Boseman and Thomas Tull

LOS ANGELES, CA – APRIL 09: Actor Chadwick Boseman (L) and producer Thomas Tull arrive at the premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ “42” at the Chinese Theatre on April 9, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

“Tulco and Figs are donating $4.2 million, 4.2 for 42  in protective personal equipment in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. For the last couple of weeks we have found that the statistics for COVID-19 has shown that the African American community has been hit the hardest. The Latino community has been hit the hardest. That’s partially because we are the front line workers. We’re the ones still going to work. We’re the ones still driving the buses. But in the hospitals and in the medical field, we’re the MTs, we’re the ones who are going to battle every day. And in some of the hospitals that are serving our people, there’s just not enough equipment, masks, gloves, and isolation gowns. So what Tulco and Figs are doing is they’re going to execute the distribution of those scrub, masks, isolation gowns to those to those hospitals that have been impacted the most. And that’s what we need. That’s the leadership we need.”

Chadwick Boseman, Jackie Robinson's widow, and Thomas Tull

LOS ANGELES, CA – APRIL 09: (L-R) Actor Chadwick Boseman, Jackie Robinson’s widow Rachel Robinson and producer Thomas Tull pose at the after party for the premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ “42” at the Chinese Theatre on April 9, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Boseman said that he applauds Tull because he also “filled in the gap” when the actor was filming 42. “A lot of people didn’t believe in it,” Boseman said. “It’s the same thing that’s happening now.” Boseman said that the federal government hasn’t made sure that companies provide hospitals with the proper PPE. “They put a bid in and distribute as needed. The same thing that’s happening with the test. The federal government has to put a bid in and make sure that prices don’t get driven up. We need stuff like this in order to fill in the gap,” Boseman said.

Boseman also said that there are other people who can “work” like Tull and FIGS and “fill in the gaps ” until the federal government does what they’re supposed to do. “We can’t afford to wait,” Boseman said.

 

 

Glennisha Morgan is a Detroit-bred multimedia journalist and writer. She writes about intersectionality, hip-hop, pop culture, queer issues, race, feminism, and her truth. Follow her on Twitter @GlennishaMorgan.