Chadwick Boseman Fans Petition to Replace Confederate Statue in His Hometown with Memorial
Following Chadwick Boseman's death from colon cancer, several petitions have launched to commemorate the star with a statue in his native South Carolina.
Among the petitions, the biggest with over 11,000 signatures calls for Boseman's hometown of Anderson, South Carolina, to replace a statue of a Confederate soldier with one of Boseman after spending "his life uplifting the stories of Black Americans both real and fictional."
"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," the petition reads. "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."
The petition says efforts were "made by local residents to remove" the Confederate statue in the town square. The movement "gained no traction due to current South Carolina law" that makes it illegal to remove or alter monuments dedicated to Confederate war efforts, according to the petition.
"We must move past the tragedies of our past in this nation and celebrate new heroes," the petition reads. "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 Black Panther star died on Friday after a private four-year-long battle with colon cancer.
In addition to his starring role in the blockbuster Marvel movies, Boseman is also known for portraying several historical figures, including Jackie Robinson in 42, Thurgood Marshall in Marshall and James Brown in Get On Up.
Black Panther director Ryan Coogler shared a heartbreaking statement following Boseman's death, calling the late actor an "epic firework display."
"Because he was a caretaker, a leader, and a man of faith, dignity and pride, he shielded his collaborators from his suffering. He lived a beautiful life. And he made great art. Day after day, year after year. That was who he was. He was an epic firework display," Coogler said. "I will tell stories about being there for some of the brilliant sparks till the end of my days. What an incredible mark he’s left for us."