A backlash erupted shortly after a memorial meant to pay tribute to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife Coretta Scott King’s legacy in Boston was revealed.
The 20-foot high, 40-foot long and 40-foot wide “The Embrace” statue was presented on Friday on Boston Common, where King delivered a speech on April 23rd, 1965, before an audience of 22,000. This statue is inspired by a picture that was taken of King along with Scott King which captured them hugging after he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.
“The Embrace” sculpture, the monument in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. and his wife Coretta Scott King, was inaugurated on Boston Common on January 13, 2023. Boston Common on January 13 2023. The sculpture was created by Katy Rogers/MediaPunch/IPX
The art work, which was created by the Brooklyn-based artist Hank Willis Thomas, only shows the couple’s arms during their hug, not their heads. The design has led to a lot of criticism and ridicule on social media. Some have said it was disgusting or unprofessional, while others have posted memes, and suggested it was sexual acts.
Seneca Scott, a community organizer from Oakland, California, and cousin of Scott King, told CNN that the statue was insulting towards his parents. He described it previously as an “masturbatory metal homage” in an article written by Compact Magazine.
“If you observe it from different angles and you can see two people who are hugging It’s actually four hands. The missing head isn’t the thing but the atrocity that other people cling to this; it’s the stump, which appeared to be an erect penis. It’s a joke.” Scott .
However, Martin Luther King III said that on Monday that he was happy to have the opportunity to view the statue of the love story of his parents and their bond. Although some are not happy with the statue.
“I think that’s a huge representation of bringing people together,” King declared. “I think the artist has done an excellent job. I’m satisfied. It’s not got my dad and mom’s pictures However, it is a symbol that unites people.”
“And in this time, day and age, when there’s so much division, we need symbols that talk about bringing us together,” he said.
We asked Thomas for his thoughts on the response in response to “The Embrace.” In his latest newsletter, Thomas declared earlier in the month the work was not just an honor to King and Scott King “but a monument to love and the power it holds.”
A representative of Embrace Boston, a racial and economic justice organization that was that was the driving force behind the monument, refused to address the criticisms and referred to King’s comments.
“The Embrace is intended to inspire visitors to reflect on the values of racial and economic justice that both Kings espoused,” the group wrote about this memorial in its site.