Thousands sign petitions asking for Chadwick Boseman statue to replace Confederate monument

ANDERSON, S.C. – An online petition has gained more than 11,000 electronic signatures Monday in an effort to erect a Chadwick Boseman statue in place of an existing Confederate monument in the actor’s hometown. A second petition has nearly 5,000.

Boseman, 43, a native of Anderson, died Friday after quietly battling colon cancer since 2016. Boseman was known for portraying Black icons Jackie Robinson, James Brown and Thurgood Marshall on the big screen before starring as King T’Challa in Marvel’s 2018 superhero hit “Black Panther.”

“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,” one of the online petitions says.

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A makeshift memorial with a poster, flowers and a card for the Boseman family is set up at the front door of T.L. Hanna High School in Anderson, S.C., on August 31, 2020.

The Confederate monument in question is located in Anderson’s town square. It was defaced in June, motivating conversation between monument supporters and opponents. 

Anderson Mayor Terence Roberts, the city’s first Black mayor, announced he would work with County Council Chairman Tommy Dunn to “quickly” get people together to talk about how to move forward: “It’s totally against our fabric, our way of life in this community and what we believe in.” 

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Police stand by the Confederate monument with posters all around it after a protest remembering George Floyd in downtown Anderson, S.C., on June 3, 2020.

Sam Brooks, the Anderson resident who is spearheading the effort to remove the monument, says relocating the statue from downtown Anderson would be a way to honor Boseman, who was an outspoken supporter of racial justice and made strides for Black representation in “Black Panther.”

“When someone like that from your hometown dies, you want to honor them,” Brooks says. “What better way to honor him than to just remove or relocate something that should have been gone a long time ago?” 

Read:‘Black Panther’ director Ryan Coogler’s entire touching tribute to Chadwick Boseman

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