Over 10,000 people have signed a petition demanding the town of Anderson, South Carolina, replace its confederate statue with a memorial of Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman, who died on Friday at 43 following a years-long battle with cancer.
“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 states. The petition, started by DeAndrew Weaver, is directly addressed to the mayor of Anderson, Terence Roberts, reminding him of the work Boseman did in the local community. “As fellow citizens go about their day they should have a face that sees all people as equal. That sees all citizens regardless of outward appearance as a member of the Anderson community.”
Weaver goes on to demand the removal of the town’s Confederate monument, erected in 1902 as a tribute to the Confederate veterans of Anderson County. The statue was vandalized back in June during the riots in response to the death of George Floyd. However, organizers were unable to secure its removal due to a statute that requires a two-thirds of the state legislature votes to do so.
Earlier this year efforts were made by local residents to remove a Confederate monument located in the town square of downtown Anderson. Unfortunately, this effort gained no traction due to current South Carolina law. It is currently illegal to remove or alter monuments dedicated to confederate war efforts in the state of South Carolina,(SECTION 10-1-165). This has made any effort to remove the statue impossible. Many will agree that Mr.Boseman is without question worthy of such a monument in his home town, but I would like to go a step further. I believe that Mr.Boseman is worthy of the spot that is currently occupied in the town square.
Speaking to local media, Weaver cited some of Boseman’s charitable work as part of his desire to see him memorialized.
“I was excited when I went to Anderson, South Carolina to go to university, and learned that was Chadwick Boseman’s hometown,” he said.”It was so inspiring to see him do his job so well, and to be rewarded and acknowledged. More than his excellence on-screen, he was charitable in real life. He bought out a theatre in Anderson so there wasn’t a financial barrier for kids to see Black Panther.”
Boseman died on Friday at his home in Los Angeles of colon cancer, for which he was first diagnosed in 2016. However, his death came as a shock to many as he never publicly discussed his condition.