Just a few days before what would have been Martin Luther King Jr.’s 94th birthday, “Embrace,” a monument dedicated to King and his wife, Coretta Scott King, has been unveiled in Boston, where they first met.
The enormous monument was unveiled on Friday, according to a blog post from Embrace Boston, which works “to dismantle structural racism through their work at the intersection of arts and culture, community, and research and policy.”
The 20-foot tall, 40-foot wide statue “symbolizes the hug Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. shared with his wife, Coretta, after he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 and celebrates their time in Boston when they met as students,” according to Embrace.
The art piece was designed by Brooklyn-based conceptual artist Hank Willis Thomas, Embrace says. Multiple trucks carried different pieces of the bronze monument from Washington state to Boston. The final statue was welded and assembled throughout December before its Friday unveiling.
“This represents an incredible milestone in our journey towards Boston’s future,” Imari Paris Jeffries, Embrace’s executive director, said in the blog post. “We’re excited to see this historic monument finally take shape after years of tireless efforts from our key partners, the City of Boston, supporters and our staff.”
The statue sits at the 1965 Freedom Plaza on Boston Common, where King gave a speech on April 23 to a crowd of 22,000.
Embrace has also released a self-guided app that pairs with the monument, offering visitors stories and first-hand accounts of the civil rights movement as well as behind-the-scenes information about the construction of the memorial.