Thousands sing petitions to replace Confederate monument with statue of Chadwick Boseman

Joanna Taylor
Monday 31 August 2020 11:15
Showbiz
( Leon Bennett / Getty Images )

More than 8,000 people have signed a petition calling for a Confederate monument in Chadwick Boseman's hometown to be replaced with a statue of the late actor.

The petition, which was posted by Anderson, South Carolina resident DeAndre Weaver, calls for the Heritage Act law that has so far made the original monument's removal impossible to be repealed. The monument has been an ongoing source of controversy: it was splattered with orange paint by protesters in late June, who later campaigned for its removal.

But these efforts to have the statue, a single Confederate soldier which stands outside the Anderson courthouse, removed have been frustrated by a South Carolina law that states that two thirds of legislators must approve the removal of war monuments from public places.

Weaver explains in the petition why this issue is so important to him.

I [am] the first Black graduate from [the] 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. 

As I left and entered the classroom, I faced a monument erected to a man and an ideology that believed that I was inferior. As time went on and the hate in our country once again reared its ugly head the statue became a reminder of how little progress has been made. 

He also explains why he thinks the monument should be replaced with a statue of Chadwick Boseman.

Boseman, who is best known for portraying the superhero Black Panther, recently died of colon cancer at age 43.

Mr Boseman spent his life uplifting the stories of Black Americans, both real and fictional. Throughout his career, he has brought life to such historical figures as James Brown, Jackie Robinson and Thurgood Marshall. However, most notably he was known for playing T'Challa the King of Wakanda, also known as the Black Panther. 

In addition to his illustrious film career, Mr Boseman made it a mission to give back to his community. [He] is without question an American treasure and his accolades go on and on. It is only fitting that his work is honoured in the same place that birthed him. 

A second petition created by an Anderson resident also suggested that the Confederate monument should be replaced with a statue of Boseman, but added that the original should be moved to the Anderson County museum and properly contextualised.

More than 3,000 people have signed this petition, aimed at Anderson's mayor Terence Roberts, who was sympathetic to the protesters's objections to the statue. He condemned the statue's vandalisation in June, but added that he wants to take a "judicious approach" to dealing with Confederate symbols.

Those in favour of keeping the statue as it is remain resolute, however, and as such there is unfortunately little chance that Boseman will stand in the place of the Confederate soldier in Anderson any time soon.

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