Chadwick Boseman’s life and legacy was celebrated in his hometown of Anderson, South Carolina, on Thursday.
Locals gathered on the grass at the Anderson Sports and Entertainment Center to remember the actor, who died last week aged 43, after secretly battling colon cancer for four years.
According to The Greenville Post and Courier, a speech the star had delivered at Howard University played out over the speakers, and there was a screening of ‘Black Panther’ – in which he played King T’Challa/ the titular character – at the venue.
Thousands have signed a petition calling for a statue of the late actor to be erected in Anderson in place of a Confederate monument.
More than 66 000 people have signed one petition calling for a monument of the Hollywood star, and over 59 000 have signed another.
Anderson University Student DeAndre Weaver, who started one of the petitions, wrote: “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. (sic)”
A spokesperson from the city of Anderson said: “The statue is on county property, but under the state’s purview. City of Anderson Mayor Roberts is open to working with the county and state to find a path going forward for the monument.
“Right now, our town is grieving the loss of a native son. We feel that it’s appropriate that our hearts and minds are focused now on grieving the loss of Chadwick Boseman.
“I can also tell you that there is no doubt that we will put together a permanent and public and fitting tribute to Chadwick Boseman. We will do it in world class fashion. We’re gonna do it right.”