In January of 1952, MLK and Coretta Scott King went on a blind date in Boston. According to the King Institute of Stanford, the couple wed in Boston the following year. In 2022, a sculpture will be unveiled in the Boston Commons that memorializes their love and union.
The Embrace is a sculpture that captures Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK) and Coretta Scott King’s love story and fight for racial equality. The sculpture depicts intertwined, disembodied arms of the two civil rights leaders. It will be unveiled at the Boston Commons, the United States oldest public park. This park is significant to the Kings’ because this park was the location of one of the city’s first freedom marches led by King on April 23, 1965.
The Embrace was designed by Hank Willis Thomas, a Brooklyn-based artist. Thomas often uses photography of Black history and identity to inspire his public works. His inspiration for this sculpture was a photo of the couple embracing after finding out Martin won the Nobel Peace Prize in October 1964.
The public will be able to walk underneath and around the sculpture. The sculpture will be surrounded by a circular pathway which will be designed with a pattern that is inspired by African American quilting traditions. The names of Boston activists that supported the 1965 Freedom Rail will also be displayed on the path. According to the project’s proposal, the pathway will be called the Peace Walk which will be the 1965 Freedom Rally Memorial Plaza portion of the project.
For more information and images of the project, check this out.