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Boston Pays Homage to Martin Luther King and Coretta Scott King with New Sculpture Unveiling

January 14, 2023 | Kali Girl

Conceptual artist Hank Willis Thomas was just another applicant in the pool of 125 artists and architects vying for the opportunity to design a new monument in Boston dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King. But when his proposal was selected, he was shook, reports NBC News.

“When I submitted the proposal, I didn’t even think that we really had a chance,” Thomas, 46, told NBC News. “By the time it was approved, I guess I’ve just been on autopilot like, OK — how do I just not get in the way of history? It really has been my mission over the past several years.”

Boston unveiled a new addition to its cultural landscape on Friday with the debut of “The Embrace,” a bronze sculpture by renowned artist Thomas. Located at America’s oldest city park, Boston Common, the 20-foot-long and 26-foot-wide structure pays tribute to the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King.

The sculpture depicts the iconic moment when the Kings embraced each other in 1964, following Martin’s receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize, as immortalized in a famous photograph. This powerful image has been brought to life in this striking bronze sculpture, which aims to both inspire visitors and honor the Kings’ legacy.

The unveiling of “The Embrace” is a must-see event for art lovers and history buffs alike. It offers a unique opportunity to witness history come alive in the heart of downtown Boston.

Scheduled attendees for the ceremony included none other than Martin Luther King III, son of the legendary civil rights activists, and his 14-year-old daughter Yolanda Renee King, who delivered a powerful speech on racial equality at the Lincoln Memorial in 2020. The monument, which has been five years in the making, is a powerful representation of the love and spirit of the King couple, according to Thomas, and serves as a reminder of the impact of iconic moments in history.

Thomas, now the chosen designer of this monument, has the chance to add to the ongoing conversation of civil rights and social justice while paying homage to the legacies of MLK and Coretta Scott King. It’s a big task, but one he’s ready to take on and use as an opportunity to inspire future generations to keep the fight for equality and justice alive.

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