Over 9,400 sign petition to replace Confederate statue with Boseman memorial

“As we are moving towards change," reads the petition to the actor's S.C. hometown, "people must be given the opportunity to change their communities.”

Chadwick Boseman at 2018’s European premiere of Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther” at the Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith in London, England. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Disney)

A petition to replace a Confederate monument in the hometown of Chadwick Boseman has nearly reached its goal of 10,000 signatures. 

According to the creator of the petition, “Boseman made it a mission to give back to his community.” 

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“Upon the release of his film Black Panther, Mr. Boseman took it upon himself to rent out a theatre in his hometown of Anderson, South Carolina to show the film for free,” DeAndre Weaver wrote. “So that young boys and girls could be inspired by the film without the financial barrier.”

Weaver’s missive called Boseman an “American treasure,” maintaining that he should be honored in the “place that birthed him.” 

“As we are moving towards change,” it read, “people must be given the opportunity to change their communities.” 

As of press time, over 9,400 signatures had been acquired.

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The statue the petition seeks to replace depicts a standing Confederate soldier atop a platform and sits in front of the Anderson County Courthouse. An inscription 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 was erected in 1902. 

According to South Carolina law, Confederate statues are protected by a heritage act and require state authorization to remove. 

“I can think of no better person than Mr. Chadwick Boseman as a monument to the future,” Weaver wrote. 

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Boseman was born in Anderson and graduated from T.L. Hanna High School. The organizer of a second petition writes that Boseman “opened many doors for many young black people with his leading roles in movies such as Black Panther or Marshall. It is only natural that his hometown honors what he did.” 

“There is no need for political controversy in this decision,” reads the petition from Anderson Citizen. “The old statue need not be destroyed; however, with the engravings on the base, it is beyond time for its retirement.”

According to a local report, the statue was vandalized in June when orange paint was splattered on three sides of the base of the monument, which sits in the courtyard outside of the courthouse, located on Main Street.

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