Chadwick Boseman's hometown of Anderson, South Carolina, is saying goodbye. The late actor's life and legacy were celebrated by the town on Thursday.
Mayor Terence Roberts' office told ET on Tuesday that the city would be hosting a community event to honor the life of Boseman on Thursday, at an outdoor amphitheater. Social distancing and masks were required amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and the venue capacity was cut in half. Tickets were given on a first-come, first-served basis.
The event, which featured local artists displaying Boseman-themed artwork, began with an address from the mayor. He introduced Rev. Deacon Mary Jeffers to give the invocation, before James Brown's daughter, Deanna Brown Thomas spoke. Boseman portrayed the legendary singer in 2014's Get On Up.
Brown Thomas recalled her first meeting with Boseman, describing how he didn't fit the "Hollywood" mold, and just hung out with their family in a T-shirt and jeans while preparing to play her father. She said she viewed Boseman as a little brother, and while the entire family was proud of his performance, he made a real effort to keep in touch with her son, who worked with him on the film.
While Boseman was the epitome of Black excellence, according to Brown Thomas, he had a cultural impact on kids of all races. His legacy will live on through his work, she noted, calling him a "king."
Performances from local artists followed, before Belton pastor Dr. Sam Neely spoke about Boseman's performances as a kid. The event concluded with a screening of Black Panther.
A representative previously told ET that the city of Anderson has long-term plans to further honor Boseman. The mayor's office is already beginning to start work on a permanent tribute to the late actor, and will be starting meetings as soon as Friday to begin plans on it. Tentative plans include creating a grand public display that will feature local artists at its core.