Days after the death of Chadwick Boseman, fans of the late Black Panther star have started a petition to get a statue of him erected in his home town of Anderson, South Carolina. A Change.org petition — which has gathered nearly 16,500 signatures as of this writing — asks the City of Anderson to replace the Anderson County Confederate Monument with a statue bearing Boseman's likeness. As detailed in the petition, South Carolina law currently prohibits Confederate monuments from being removed across the state, meaning the petition aims to repeal the law first and then have the city place a statue of Boseman in its place.
"Earlier this year efforts were made by local residents to remove a Confederate monument located in the town square of downtown Anderson," DeAndre Weaver, the organizer of the petition, says of the situation. "Unfortunately, this effort gained no traction due to current South Carolina law. It is currently illegal to remove or alter monuments dedicated to confederate war efforts in the state of South Carolina,(SECTION 10-1-165)."
Weaver adds, "This has made any effort to remove the statue impossible. Many will agree that Mr. Boseman is without question worthy of such a monument in his home town, but I would like to go a step further. I believe that Mr. Boseman is worthy of the spot that is currently occupied in the town square."
Boseman was born in Anderson and graduated from T.L. Hanna High School, a school located right outside of the city, in 1995. Boseman's teamed announced Friday he had passed away after a four-year battle with colon cancer. He was 43 and is survived by his wife and family.
"In African cultures we often refer to loved ones that have passed on as ancestors. Sometimes you are genetically related. Sometimes you are not," Black Panther drector Ryan Coogler said in his statement regarding Boseman's passing Sunday. "I had the privilege of directing scenes of Chad’s character, T’Challa, communicating with the ancestors of Wakanda. We were in Atlanta, in an abandoned warehouse, with bluescreens, and massive movie lights, but Chad’s performance made it feel real. I think it was because from the time that I met him, the ancestors spoke through him. It’s no secret to me now how he was able to skillfully portray some of our most notable ones."
Cover photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Disney