Thousands of fans are signing a petition pushing for a Confederate state in Chadwick Boseman’s hometown of Anderson, South Carolina, to be replaced with a memorial to the late actor.
The world greeted the news of the 43-year-old’s death from colon cancer with deep grief and shock over the weekend. The star, who rose to fame playing superheroes and iconic Black historical figures while secretly going through surgeries and chemotherapy, has been dubbed a real-life superhero for his strength and quiet dedication to family and community.
One petition, with about 10,000 signatures, stated: “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. 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.”
The statue was erected in 1902 and shows a Confederate soldier. The placard reads: The world shall yet decide, in truth’s clear, far-off light, that the soldiers who wore the gray, and died with Lee, were in the right.”
This statue, along with many other Confederate statues around the country, has been at the center of controversy since the murder of George Floyd in May, and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement.
South Carolina mayor Terence Roberts has said that the local government is in a quandary: “Roberts noted in his comments to the outlet then that the monument could likely be subjected to the state’s Heritage Act. The measure reportedly prohibits the removal of Confederate monuments unless two-thirds of the state legislature votes to do so.”
Boseman is beloved for his roles in Black Panther, Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods, as Jackie Robinson in 42, Thurgood Marshall in Marshall, James Brown in Get On Up; his final movie Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is set for release later this year.
Boseman is survived by his widow, the singer Taylor Simone Ledward. Boseman was private about his battle with cancer, and his love life. They were first linked in 2015. On Friday, his family revealed that he married Ledward before his death.