A monument stands in the center of Anderson, South Carolina, erected in 1902 and dedicated to the city’s Confederate veterans. After the sudden death of actor Chadwick Boseman, who was born in Anderson and died due to Stage IV colon cancer on August 28, thousdands of people have signed a petition to replace the confederate monument with one in honor of the Black Panther actor’s legacy.
Yahoo! Entertainment reports that it’s illegal to remove the monument in Anderson, so community members that respect Boseman’s contributions to the arts and philanthropy are looking for state officials to make the call to replace the existing statue. Under South Carolina’s Heritage Act, a two-thirds vote of the state legislature is needed for war monuments to be moved from public areas.
One petition that has nearly 8,000 signatures as of Wednesday, September 2, says that Boseman’s life was spent “uplifting the stories of Black Americans both real and fictional.”
“Mr. Boseman is without question an American treasure and his accolades go on and on,” it continues. “It is only fitting that his work is honored in the same place that birthed him.”
Another petition, which has a whopping 40,000 signatures so far, says that there’s room for both statues in Anderson. “He opened many doors for many young, Black people with his leading roles in movies such as Black Panther or Marshall,” it says. “It is only natural that his hometown honors what he did.”
“The old statue need not be destroyed; however, with the engravings on the base, it is beyond time for its retirement,” the petition continues. “The Anderson County Museum should be the permanent home to the Confederate Monument. It should preserve history, but not honor the ideals for which the Confederacy stood. It is time to unify Anderson around a true local hero and time to honor all South Carolinians, not just the ideals of a few. Rest In Peace Chadwick Boseman.”