In the wake of Chadwick Boseman’s untimely passing, people are calling on the mayor and city council of his hometown in Anderson, South Carolina to replace a Confederate statue with one of the actor. Multiple petitions have been launched on Change.org as it’s illegal in the state to remove the monument, which is located in front of the town’s courthouse. The Black Panther star died on Friday from colon cancer at age 43.
“Mr. Boseman spent his life uplifting the stories of Black Americans both real and fictional,” one petition reads. “In addition to his illustrious film career, Mr. Boseman made it a mission to give back to his community. … Mr. Boseman is without question an American treasure and his accolades go on and on. It is only fitting that his work is honored in the same place that birthed him.”
The existing monument is dedicated to the Confederate veterans of Anderson County. It was erected in 1902. Under South Carolina’s Heritage Act, a two-thirds vote of the state legislature is required to remove war monuments from public places.
“We must move past the tragedies of our past in this nation and celebrate new heroes. Mr. Boseman is a hero to this nation but more importantly a hero to the town of Anderson. His legacy was one of excellence and equality. As fellow citizens go about their day they should have a face that sees all people as equal,” the petition continues. It has over 10,000 signatures and counting.
A second petition suggests that while a Boseman statue goes up in town, the Confederate monument should be moved to The Anderson County Museum.
“I believe the community should come together to honor someone from Anderson, South Carolina that was able to change the movie industry. He opened many doors for many young black people with his leading roles in movies such as Black Panther or Marshall. It is only natural that his hometown honors what he did,” it says.
“There is no need for political controversy in this decision,” the petition continues. “The old statue need not be destroyed; however, with the engravings on the base, it is beyond time for its retirement. The Anderson County Museum should be the permanent home to the Confederate Monument. It should be accompanied by the history of the monument and the reasoning for its relocation. It should preserve history, but not honor the ideals for which the Confederacy stood. … It is time to unify Anderson around a true local hero and time to honor all South Carolinians, not just the ideals of a few. Rest In Peace Chadwick Boseman.”
The Confederate monument was vandalized in June. Mayor Terence Roberts, the city’s first Black mayor, condemned any defacing of the statue but said he and the city council would “quickly” get monument supporters and opponents together to talk about how to move forward. Yahoo Entertainment reached out to the mayor on Monday regarding the petitions but did not immediately receive a response.
The Boseman family announced the actor’s death on Aug. 28. In a statement, it was revealed he privately battled colon cancer since 2016.
“A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much,” the statement read. “From Marshall to Da 5 Bloods, August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and several more — all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy. It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther.”
Before his death, Boseman quietly married longtime love Taylor Simone Ledward.
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