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New Monument of Coretta Scott King and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Unveiled in Boston

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The city of Boston recently debuted its new monument dedicated to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife, Coretta Scott King.

Officially unveiled in a ceremony on Friday, the monument, known as “The Embrace,” is now at home at the Boston Common, a park often referred to as “America’s oldest park,” in downtown Boston. 

Created by artist Hank Willis Thomas, “The Embrace” stands 20 feet long and is 26 feet wide. Worth $10 million, the 3D-printed sculpture covered in bronze is a tribute to a special moment between the Kings; it references a photo of Dr. King Jr. hugging his wife after being given the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 and depicts only the shoulders, hands and arms of the picture.

Martin Luther King III, the son of the Kings’ and a civil rights activist in his own right, was present at the unveiling ceremony. He was accompanied by his 14-year-old daughter, Yolanda Renee King, and his wife, Arndrea Waters King, who read an excerpt about the support Coretta Scott gave her husband from Dr. King Jr’s “Stride Toward Freedom.”

At the event, Martin Luther King III took a moment to recall his own parents’ love both for each other and the city of Boston.

“Whenever I’ve come to Boston in the past I’ve always felt a powerful bond of solidarity with this first great American city,” he said, per the Boston Herald. “Of course, it is the city where my parents met, fell in love and decided to create a family, and in a way, I owe my very existence to Boston.”

In the early 1950s, Coretta Scott met Dr. King Jr. while she was a student at the New England Conservatory, and he studied at Boston University. On June 18, 1953, the pair married and, a year later, moved to Montgomery, where Dr. King Jr. had received a position as a pastor at the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church.

As her husband became ingrained in the civil rights movement, Coretta Scott became just as involved, opening uo her house as a place to work for the movement and taking part in strategy meetings. When it was time for Dr. King Jr. to give his speeches, it was her who gave him the necessary feedback and encouragement he needed. 

Coretta Scott also notably helped organize the Freedom Concerts, a series of performances of poetry and music to help fund the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. 

Involved in activism and protests worldwide, she also advocated for women’s and children’s rights, the LGBTQ+ community, religious freedom, gun control and health care, amongst other issues, throughout her 50-year career.

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