Chadwick Boseman will leave a towering legacy in the wake of his sudden and tragic death. His influence will be felt for generations and it is undeniable that he did his best to make the world a slightly better place. Could his memory be honored with a statue that would replace a Confederate monument?
That is what one citizen in Anderson, South Carolina is hoping. A petition at Change.org has been set up and it asks that a Confederate statue be relocated to a museum and a statue of Chadwick Boseman be its replacement. As of this writing, the petition has garnered over 80,000 signatures on its way to a goal of 150,000 signatures. The petition is targeted towards the mayor of Anderson, Terence Roberts, the South Carolina State House and Senate, and Governor Henry McMaster.
Chadwick Boseman was born and raised in Anderson, South Carolina and it is very moving to see his hometown show this level of support for the actor. The petition does state that it features two separate clauses: one to remove the Confederate statue and another to replace it with a statue of Boseman. This is all dependent on both approval by the city and Boseman’s estate.
A statue of Chadwick Boseman would certainly be a welcome part of Anderson, South Carolina. The debate around Confederate statues still remains a heated discussion, but it is hard to argue against a town wanting to honor one of its most notable citizens. And as crass as it is to say, it would probably be a much better tourist attraction than the current statue.
Speaking as someone whose own hometown has dealt with the controversy surrounding Confederate monuments, a statue honoring a figure like Chadwick Boseman is a much more inspirational and aspirational effort. The history of the Confederacy should not be forgotten or removed from history, but it should not be displayed in public as a sign of support from city leaders.
It is worth noting that these online petitions do not reflect the ability to enact real change. Rather, they act as a way for public support of a proposal to be properly gauged. A proposal like this would have to be brought through official channels in Anderson, South Carolina. And it should be left to the citizens of that town and state to decide if a statue of Chadwick Boseman is something they would want.
And again, it will be dependent on the response from Boseman’s family and estate. As nice a gesture as this is, it is important to maintain their wishes and feelings in discussions and proposals such as this.
Will Anderson, South Carolina decide to honor Chadwick Boseman as one of its most famous citizens and remove a Confederate statue in the process. As of now, nothing is moving forward. But, those petition signatures continue to grow even as this article is being written. If there is a large enough showing of support for the idea, it could become a reality. It would certainly be a great way to remember the actor and his legacy.