A petition has started out of Chadwick Boseman‘s hometown to honor the late actor with a permanent memorial.
Over the past several months, increased awareness has been placed on statues honoring the Confederate army, particularly in the southern US, with calls being made to remove them amid protests. It’s no different in Anderson, South Carolina where a Change.org petition has garnered over 27,000 signatures (roughly the same number as the 2010 population of the town) urging the city to put up a statue in Boseman’s honor.
DeAndre Weaver, an Anderson resident and the first Black graduate of Anderson University’s BFA Acting program, explained some of the direct impacts that the Marvel star had on the local community:
“Upon the release of his film Black Panther, Mr. Boseman took it upon himself to rent out a theatre in his home town of Anderson South Carolina to show the film for free. So that young boys and girls could be inspired by the film without the financial barrier. 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.”
He also discussed the struggle activists have had in SC trying to get Confederate statues taken down and/or replaced, citing Section 10-1-165 of South Carolina state law, which makes it illegal to “remove or alter monuments dedicated to confederate war efforts in the state of South Carolina” without a majority vote from state legislature.
Currently in Anderson, a statue stands in the downtown town square praising General Robert E. Lee which reads:
“The world shall yet decide in truth’s clear far off light, that the soldiers who wore the gray and died with Lee were in the right.”
While it’s unclear what will come of the petition to replace the standing statue with one of Chadwick, there are plans in the works to honor him in Anderson. The office of town mayor Terence Roberts told TMZ that a public get-together and enshrinement are coming soon. A remembrance will be held on Thursday at an outdoor amphitheater, where three speakers — a pastor, a former high school classmate of the late 43-year-old, and the Mayor himself — will speak before a screening of Black Panther.
The city said they are taking all precautions to organize this safely amid the pandemic, and is cutting the capacity of the outdoor space in half to keep social distancing in mind for the first-come, first-served event. Locals will also be decorating the area with themed artwork, with possible visits from extended family in the area.
We’re continuing to send our deepest condolences to all of Chadwick’s family, friends, and loved ones.
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