Petition to replace the Confederate monument in Anderson with a Chadwick Boseman memorial
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On August 28, 2020, the world was informed of the untimely passing of actor Chadwick Boseman. Mr. Boseman spent his life uplifting the stories of Black Americans both real and fictional. Throughout his career, he has brought to life 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 know as the Black Panther. This film, along with his entire body of work, has uplifted and inspired many Black Americans especially during the turbulent times our nation is going through.
In addition to his illustrious film career, Mr. Boseman made it a mission to give back to his community. Not only with his appearances at his alma mater Howard University but financially as well. Upon the release of his film Black Panther, Mr. Boseman took it upon himself to rent out a theatre in his home town of Anderson South Carolina to show the film for free. So that young boys and girls could be inspired by the film without the financial barrier. 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.
Earlier this year efforts were made by local residents to remove a Confederate monument located in the town square of downtown Anderson. 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). 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. For those unfamiliar with Anderson, where the confederate monument is currently located is in the center of the town. One cannot go downtown with seeing or passing by this monument. I know from personal experience. I am not just a fan of Mr.Boseman but so happened to attend college in his hometown and went on to become the first Black graduate from 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 my classroom, I faced a monument erected to a man and an ideology that believed that I was inferior. At first, it did not affect me. It was simply a statue. But 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. As I saw the desecration of Black lives and the rights of Black Americans, this statue was no longer a reminder of the past but a warning of the future to come.
For four years I decided to make Anderson my home. I've met the wonderful people there and have seen their hearts for change. Right now our great nation is divided into those who want to move forward and those who want to remain still. For many Americans, this is more than a difference in politics but is quite literally a fight for our lives.
As we are moving towards change, people must be given the opportunity to change their communities. It is unfair and undemocratic that the residents of Anderson County cannot even assemble to vote on whether or not this statue should remain. Under the current state law, even if the removal was placed on the local ballot and the residents voted for removal it would not be allowed. The statue has been placed on public land and is maintained by taxpayer dollars it only makes sense that the people should have a say on what goes on this land. The function of a government is to serve all of its people. Section 10-1-165 must be repealed. We must move past the tragedies of our past in this nation and celebrate new heroes.
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. That sees all citizens regardless of outward appearance as a member of the Anderson community.
To move forward into a brighter day Section 10-1-165 must be repealed. And upon the removal of a monument to the past I can think of no better person than Mr. Chadwick Boseman as a monument to the future. Thank you so much for your time and I encourage you to show your support by sharing and signing the petition.
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