Thousands of people are lobbying to replace a Confederate monument with a statue honoring actor Chadwick Boseman. The Confederate statue is in Anderson, South Carolina, Boseman’s hometown. Multiple petitions have circulated lobbying for the change since Boseman recently passed away after a secret battle with colon cancer.
Two petitions on Change.org are seeking to swap statues. The petitions ask local and state officials to create a public memorial in honor of the beloved Anderson native. Furthermore, the petitions are calling for the statue to be built and placed outside of the Anderson county courthouse.
“Mr. Boseman is without question an American treasure and his accolades go on and on,” wrote Anderson University student DeAndre Weaver, who started one of the petitions. “It is only fitting that his work is honored in the same place that birthed him.”
The other petition on Change.org that has been signed by thousands was created by an anonymous “Anderson Citizen.”
“I believe the community should come together to honor someone from Anderson, South Carolina that was able to change the movie industry,” the details of the petition read. “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.”
Confederate Statue Out, Chadwick Boseman Memorial In?
The anonymous petition says its purpose is not to demolish the current monument of a Confederate soldier. Instead, relocating the statue to a local museum is the goal.
“It is beyond time for its retirement. The Anderson County Museum should be the permanent home to the Confederate Monument,” the petition says. “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.”
“I hope that the government of South Carolina sees that the fate of said statues should be in the people’s hands, not just government officials,” stated one of the petitions.
Local and state officials were notified in the petitions. Specifically, they tagged Anderson Mayor Terrence Roberts, Governor Henry McMaster, and the South Carolina state legislature. Additionally, the petitions also addressed the Heritage Act, which governs the statue’s removal if voted on with a two-thirds vote by state legislature.
“The statue is on county property, but under the state’s purview. City of Anderson Mayor Roberts is open to working with the county and state to find a path going forward for the monument. Right now, our town is grieving the loss of a native son. We feel that it’s appropriate that our hearts and minds are focused now on grieving the loss of Chadwick Boseman,” said spokesperson for the city of Anderson. “I can also tell you that there is no doubt that we will put together a permanent and public and fitting tribute to Chadwick Boseman. We will do it in world class fashion. We’re gonna do it right.”
Chadwick Boseman Fought Private Cancer Battle
Anderson, SC is planning a public memorial service for Boseman on Thursday night. The event will include a movie screening of his instantly classic portrayal of King T’Challa in “Black Panther.”
After Boseman passed away on Friday, details emerged of the actor’s 2016 colon cancer diagnosis. His death was a shock to fans and friends alike, because he kept his health struggles mostly to himself. Only a small circle of friends and family knew what Boseman was going through as the disease took its toll.
Boseman was most famous for his role in “Black Panther,” and for his portrayal of legendary baseball player Jackie Robinson in “42.” However, even more inspiring, Boseman’s family revealed that most of the actor’s recent movies were filmed “during countless surgeries and chemotherapy.”
“Anderson needs to honor a citizen that inspired millions, Anderson needs Chadwick Boseman,” the petition stated. “May he rest in peace.”
[H/T NBC News]