Petitions call for statue of Chadwick Boseman to replace Confederate monument in South Carolina

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Tens of thousands of fans of the late Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman are demanding that his South Carolina hometown erect a memorial for the beloved actor in place of a 118-year-old Confederate monument.

As of Thursday morning, a total of more than 100,000 people electronically signed several online petitions calling on the city council to remove the Confederate statue that stands in front of the Anderson County Court House.

‘With Chadwick Boseman’s early passing, it is important that we honor a true local legend by immortalizing him in stone in front of the courthouse,’ one of the petition’s authors wrote on Change.org.

‘The Confederate Monument belongs in a museum, but has no right to be displayed there [in front of the courthouse].

Several petitions circulating online are demanding that Anderson, South Carolina, honor the late hometown hero Chadwick Boseman with a statue. Boseman (seen above in November 2019 in Los Angeles) died on Friday at the age of 43. He was diagnosed with colon cancer

Several petitions circulating online are demanding that Anderson, South Carolina, honor the late hometown hero Chadwick Boseman with a statue. Boseman (seen above in November 2019 in Los Angeles) died on Friday at the age of 43. He was diagnosed with colon cancer

Petitioners want a statue of Boseman to replace the 118-year-old Confederate monument (seen in the above file photo) that currently is displayed in front of the Anderson Court House

Petitioners want a statue of Boseman to replace the 118-year-old Confederate monument (seen in the above file photo) that currently is displayed in front of the Anderson Court House

The Confederate monument in Anderson was dedicated in January 1902. Atop the monument stands a Confederate soldier that depicts the likeness of William Wirt Humphreys

The Confederate monument in Anderson was dedicated in January 1902. Atop the monument stands a Confederate soldier that depicts the likeness of William Wirt Humphreys

‘I believe the community should come together to honor someone from Anderson, South Carolina that was able to change the movie industry.’

The petition states: ‘It is only natural that his hometown honors what he did. There is no need for political controversy in this decision.’ 

Another petition started by DeAndre Weaver, an Anderson University student who is majoring in theater, has attracted more than 60,000 signatures as of Thursday morning.

‘There’s no reason [the Confederate Monument] should be there anymore,’ Weaver said.

‘If we could replace that with something honoring Mr. Boseman, that would be so positive for the community.’

An inscription at the base of the statue 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.'

An inscription at the base of the statue 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.’

The Confederate monument in Anderson was dedicated in January 1902.

Atop the monument stands a Confederate soldier that depicts the likeness of William Wirt Humphreys.

A lawyer and newspaper editor, Humphreys was an officer who led a company of Confederate soldiers during the Civil War.

Humphreys was beloved in the local community after leading the Palmetto Riflemen, a group of soldiers comprised entirely of enlisted men from Anderson.

After suffering life-threatening wounds, he re-enlisted in the war effort and rose up the officer ranks to lead men into several battles.

Humphreys died in 1893. The monument and statue were erected nine years later.

An inscription at the base of the statue 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.’ 

The monument has been a focal point of controversy in recent months after the May 25 police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. 

In June, vandals defaced the monument with orange paint, according to the Independent Mail

Anderson Mayor Terence Roberts, the first black mayor elected in Anderson, did not condone the vandalism, though he urged a ‘judicious approach’ in resolving the issue of the future status of the monument. 

The base of the monument includes an inscription listing the historic battles of the Civil War

The base of the monument includes an inscription listing the historic battles of the Civil War

One of the petitions calling for a memorial to Boseman is demanding that the Confederate statue be relocated to a museum.

‘There is no need for political controversy in this decision,’ the petitioners wrote.

‘The old statue need not be destroyed; however, with the engravings on the base, it is beyond time for its retirement.

‘The Anderson County Museum should be the permanent home to the Confederate Monument.

‘It should be accompanied by the history of the monument and the reasoning for its relocation.

‘It should preserve history, but not honor the ideals for which the Confederacy stood.’

Boseman died at the age of 43 on Friday after enduring a four-year battle with colon cancer.

In an announcement that stunned Hollywood, Boseman’s family said he had been diagnosed with colon cancer four years ago and died surrounded by his loved ones, including wife Taylor Simone Ledward.

He never discussed the illness publicly and films including Black Panther, Da 5 Bloods and Avengers: Endgame were all filmed ‘during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy,’ the family said.

Tributes to Boseman poured in from across a reeling Hollywood.

Marvel chief Kevin Feige, who cast him as Black Panther, said his death was ‘absolutely devastating,’ while Get Out filmmaker Jordan Peele said it was a ‘crushing blow.’

Oscar-winner Barry Jenkins and Marvel stars Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth and Chris Pratt also paid tribute.

Boseman was cast as superhero T’Challa, the king of African nation Wakanda, in 2014, and made his debut as the character in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War.

The release of Black Panther in 2018, two years after Boseman was diagnosed with stage three colon cancer, was a landmark moment for representation in Hollywood.

Both the film and Boseman’s portrayal of the titular superhero achieved universal acclaim as well as huge success at the box office.

It grossed more than $1.3billion dollars worldwide and earned an Academy Award best picture nomination, the first superhero movie to do so.

It also sparked a worldwide celebration of African culture, with the character’s famous ‘Wakanda Forever’ salute inspiring millions of people to feel an added sense of pride in their African heritage.

A sequel, Black Panther 2, had been set for release in 2022, but it is unclear what will now happen with the film.

The City of Anderson is hosting a tribute event for Boseman on Thursday at 7pm at the Anderson Civic Center.

Mayor Terence Roberts is expected to attend the event, which will include a prayer service and a screening of Black Panther, according to WCSC

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