Chadwick Boseman’s hometown is already working on a statue dedicated to the late actor—but it will not replace the Confederate monument that still stands in the town square.
After the actor’s tragic death from colon cancer, fans began signing a petition calling for Anderson, South Carolina, where Boseman was born and raised, to replace the Confederate statue that claims the soldiers who fought for the South “were in the right” with one dedicated to Boseman, the town’s most famous resident. More than 60,000 people have signed it so far, although it’s unclear how many of the signatories hail from Anderson itself.
A representative for Anderson Mayor Terence Roberts’ office told TMZ Thursday that the city has already chosen an artist and is currently brainstorming concepts for the statue—which will include a mixture of sculptural and mural elements.
But the Confederate monument, which has stood in the town since 1902, will be a different matter. Per TMZ, its removal falls outside the mayor’s purview and requires a two-thirds vote from South Carolina’s state legislature.
The viral petition’s creator, DeAndre Weaver, noted in its description that Boseman “has uplifted and inspired many Black Americans especially during the turbulent times our nation is going through.”
“In addition to his illustrious film career, Mr. Boseman made it a mission to give back to his community,” Weaver continued. “Not only with his appearances at his alma mater Howard University but financially as well.”
Weaver noted that upon the release of Black Panther, Boseman rented out an Anderson theater to show the film for free.
“Mr. Boseman is without question an American treasure and his accolades go on and on,” Weaver wrote. “It is only fitting that his work is honored in the same place that birthed him.”
Weaver noted that he actually studied acting in Boseman’s hometown and became the first Black graduate from BFA Acting program at Anderson University.
“For the past four years, every day as I walked to my class downtown the eyes of this monument would be the first thing I see,” Weaver wrote of the Confederate statue. “As I left and entered my classroom, I faced a monument erected to a man and an ideology that believed that I was inferior... It is unfair and undemocratic that the residents of Anderson County cannot even assemble to vote on whether or not this statue should remain.”