A commemoration of the new monument Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife, Coretta Scott King, were unveiled in Boston on Friday ahead of Monday’s national holiday honoring the civil rights icon.
The 22-foot-tall sculpture, titled “Hugs,” depicts a hug between Dr. King and Coretta after he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.
The $10 million bronze statue, designed by Hank Willis Thomas and MASS Design Group, now stands in Liberty Square in Boston Square, America’s first public park.
“I am honored to be a part of this dedication ceremony for a memorial that truly represents the bond of love of my parents,” said Dr. Martin Luther King III, Dr. King’s eldest son, at the unveiling. ceremony.
Dr. King met his wife, Coretta, in Boston in the 1950s when he was a doctoral student in divinity at Boston University and she was a student at the New England Conservatory of Music.
He began preaching in Boston and eventually led a civil rights march from Roxbury to Boston Square, where the statue now stands.
“Whenever I’ve come to Boston in the past, I’ve always felt a strong bond of solidarity with this first great American city,” King III said. “Of course, this is the city where my parents met, fell in love with each other and decided to start a family. And in a way, I owe my existence to Boston as the place where my parents found each other.”
Paul English, an entrepreneur, led the Embrace project and invested in it in 2017. Project co-chair Reverend Liz Walker consulted with creatives, artists and educators to find an artist and design for the structure.
The Embrace also has a digital experience with a stand-alone app that allows visitors to learn about the monument, Liberty Square and the legacy of the Kings.
The project’s executive director, Imary Paris Jeffries, said the statue not only symbolizes the Kings’ important, unifying civil rights movement, but it also represents a rarely told story of black love.
“We want one of the messages that people remember is that this is one of the few memorials in this country that is based on the story of a black family, of black love,” Jeffries said. told CBS Boston.
At Yolanda’s unveiling, Renee King, the Kings’ only granddaughter, urged those in attendance to continue the important but “unfinished work” of her grandparents.
“This is the spirit we must keep as we celebrate the 37th Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Monday,” the teenager said. “Let’s make this a great day of community activity. On the day of brotherhood. Sisterhood day. A day of using your platform for good. A day of love and healing in the spirit of this wonderful monument,” the 14-year-old old King told the crowd.”