Boseman passed away on Friday after losing a four-year battle with colon cancer. He was known for playing important Black figures such as Thurgood Marshall, Jackie Robinson and James Brown, as well as portraying the first Black superhero in Marvel’s “Black Panther” as King T’Challa, according to USA Today.
“Mr. Boseman is a hero to this nation but more importantly a hero to the town of Anderson. His legacy was one of excellence and equality. As fellow citizens go about their day they should have a face that sees all people as equal,” one of the petitions read.
“Mr. Boseman spent his life uplifting the stories of Black Americans both real and fictional. In addition to his illustrious film career, Mr. Boseman made it a mission to give back to his community.” one petition stated. “Mr. Boseman is without question an American treasure and his accolades go on and on. It is only fitting that his work is honored in the same place that birthed him.”
The Confederate monument that is in question lies in Anderson’s town square and was built in 1902. It depicts a Confederate soldier with words that read, “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,” according to The Hill.
In June, the same monument was defaced in light of racial protests that swept the nation and it had sparked a conversation between supporters of the monument and its opponents.
Anderson’s first Black mayor, Terence Roberts, said that he would work with the city council to “quickly” figure out a way to move forward. “It’s totally against our fabric, our way of life in this community and what we believe in,” Roberts said per USA Today.
According to Yahoo! Entertainment, one of the petitions calls for the current monument to be moved to the Anderson County Museum. “The old statue need not be destroyed; however, with the engravings on the base, it is beyond time for its retirement,” the petition read. 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.”
Sam Brooks, an Anderson resident who was the driving force behind the removal of the monument told Independent Mail, “When someone like that from your hometown dies, you want to honor them. And I think that’s the heart of it. And also, what better way to honor him than to just remove or relocate something that needs to be should have been gone a long time ago?”
However, under the South Carolina Heritage Act, in order to remove a war monument from a public space it requires a two-thirds approval vote from the state Legislature.