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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King were revered pillars of the civil rights movement; boldly amplifying the ugly truths surrounding racial injustice in America and fearlessly elevating their voices for change in the face of overt oppression. A sculpture that serves as a visual representation of their love and legacies was recently unveiled in Boston, CBS News reported.

The vision for the monument—dubbed The Embrace—was derived from a hug the couple shared after Dr. King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for his unwavering devotion to advancing racial justice. It also is symbolic of their deeply-rooted connections to the city.

Boston was where their love story began and blossomed. The two met there while he was pursuing his doctoral degree at Boston University’s School of Theology, and she was part of a fellowship program at the New England Conservatory of Music. The 22-foot bronze sculpture is harbored in Boston Common; a public space that has served as the backdrop for civic demonstrations for centuries, including a riveting speech that Dr. King delivered before a crowd of 22,000 people on April 23, 1965, where he decried injustices that permeated communities within Boston. Beyond their commitment to each other, the statue is also illustrative of their shared commitment to uplifting and empowering those who have been historically marginalized, and their strong belief in the power of community.

The cultivation of the sculpture was led by Paul English and Rev. Liz Walker. The design process for the $10 million effort was supported by a collective of visual artists, educators, and other cultural curators. Hank Willis Thomas and MASS Design Group created the monument.

The project also encompasses a digital element where visitors can use an app to learn more about the contributions of the civil rights trailblazers, the creation of the statue, and the history of Boston Common.

Imari Paris Jeffries, who serves as the Executive Director of Embrace Boston, shared the monument is exemplary of the beauty of Black love.

The Kings’ loved ones were in attendance for the unveiling ceremony, including their 14-year-old granddaughter Yolanda Renee King who imparted words of wisdom. “This is the spirit we must keep as we commemorate the 37th Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday on Monday,” she shared. “Let’s make it a great day of community service. A day of brotherhood. A day of sisterhood. A day of using your platform for good. A day of love and healing in the spirit of this wonderful monument.”

The unveiling of the monument comes twelve years after the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial in Washington, D.C. was opened to the public.


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