Chadwick Boseman died last week following a private battle with colon cancer 

By Ally Mauch
September 04, 2020 11:01 AM
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Chadwick Boseman’s hometown of Anderson, South Carolina honored the late star with a community memorial service Thursday.

The event was held at an outdoor amphitheater with social distancing measures in place. Most attendees wore masks, while many of the children dressed up in Black Panther costumes in honor of Boseman, who died of colon cancer on Aug. 28 at the age of 43.

The service included a screening of Black Panther and several pieces of artwork featuring the actor were on display. Deanna Brown-Thomas, the daughter of singer James Brown, spoke to community members at the event, remembering when Boseman visited her family before he portrayed Brown in 2014’s Get on Up.

“He is the epitome of black excellence,” Brown-Thomas said, according to The Associated Press.

“You know, he was always reading and always trying to get better,” Anderson mayor Terence Roberts added of Boseman. “So from a work ethic point of view, it just doesn’t happen overnight. He showed us that we’ve got to hone our skills and just persevere.”

Pastor Samuel Neely praised Boseman, sharing that he knew him from a young age and even baptized him.

“Even though he plays these different people, I still see the person I knew as a child,” Neely said. “When I see him, it’s almost like seeing my own child. He’s still Chad.”

Chadwick Boseman
Chadwick Boseman
| Credit: Victoria Will/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

Earlier this week, a spokesperson for the Anderson mayor’s office told TMZ the town is already working on a permanent memorial to honor Boseman. The spokesperson said that the memorial would be a statue with elements of sculpture and mural work, and that the mayor's office plans to reach out for public input on the project.

News of the potential memorial came just days after fans started a petition asking for a monument of the actor to replace a Confederate statue in Anderson. However, TMZ’s report did not indicate that the Boseman memorial in works will be replacing the Confederate statue.

Boseman died last Friday following a private years-long battle with colon cancer. 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."