The grand unveiling of a monument to commemorate the legacy of slain rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Boston was greeted with both reverence and mockery with many praising the 20-foot-high bronze statue and others criticizing what they clearly feel is a monstrosity.
On Friday, at a ceremony attended by Beantown city leaders, the suspense was brought to an end when the tarp came down and the statue, a likeness of Dr. King and his beloved wife Coretta Scott King locked in an embrace inspired by a famous photo, was revealed, kicking off a long weekend of tributes that will culminate with parades and other events dedicated to his memory on Monday, a federal holiday to honor him.
The statue which is named “The Embrace” features the arms of the two civil rights leaders after Dr. King had won the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize, designed by the renowned conceptual artist Hank Willis Thomas, it was built in Walla Walla, Washington and transported across the country to its location in the Freedom Plaza of the Boston Common, the nation’s oldest public park where it was formally unveiled to the crowd.
Reactions were mixed with many gushing with praise for monument to King.
“The Embrace will be a revolutionary space in our country’s oldest public park for conversation, education, and reflection on the Kings’ impact in Boston and the ideals that continue to shape the fabric of our city,” said said Beantown’s Democrat Mayor Michelle Wu.
Democrat Representative Ayanna Pressley whose congressional district included Boston, spoke at the ceremony where she hailed the unique statue.