ANDERSON, S.C. — Chadwick Boseman’s hometown of Anderson, South Carolina plans to honor the late actor Thursday with a special memorial.
Boseman, who starred as the superhero “Black Panther,” died last Friday of colon cancer.
The city announced on Facebook that it plans to host a special service and showing of the movie to honor Boseman’s life at the Anderson Sports & Entertainment Complex. The event starts at 7 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Masks and social distancing are required.
More than 15,000 people have signed a petition for a statue of Boseman to replace a Confederate monument in the city.
The petition, which centers on the Confederate monument that stands in front of the Anderson courthouse, was launched by an anonymous Anderson resident and is addressed to Anderson Mayor Terence Roberts, the South Carolina state Senate, the South Carolina House and South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster. Officials would need to sign off on the original statue’s removal.
The petitioner wrote that there is “no need for political controversy in this decision,” and that the current statue would be better served in the Anderson County Museum, where it could be accompanied by an explanation of its history and the reasoning for its relocation.
“With Chadwick Boseman’s early passing, it is important that we honor a true local legend [by] immortalizing him in stone in front of the courthouse,” the petition reads. “With help from the signers of this petition, I hope that it becomes apparent how popular this idea is. It is time to unify Anderson around a true local hero and time to honor all South Carolinians, not just the ideals of a few. Rest In Peace Chadwick Boseman.”
Boseman was 43 years old when he died of colon cancer, his representative announced last Friday.
Throughout his career, the actor developed a reputation for playing towering real-life figures, including Ernie Davis in “The Express: The Ernie Davis Story,” Jackie Robinson in “42,” James Brown in “Get on Up” and Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall in “Marshall.”
However, he is best known for starring as King T’Challa in “Black Panther” — a role that finally allowed Black children to see themselves represented on the big screen in a super-heroic way. To his “Black Panther” co-star Michael B. Jordan, Boseman was just as much a hero off-screen as the one he played in the Marvel movies.
“I’ve been watching, learning and constantly motivated by your greatness,” Jordan wrote on Instagram Monday. “Through it all, you never lost sight of what you loved most. You cared about your family, your friends, your craft, your spirit. You cared about the kids, the community, our culture and humanity. You cared about me.”
Cox Media Group