Just in time for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the city of Boston has unveiled a new sculpture meant to honor the civil rights leader.
According to WCVB-TV, the statue was revealed on Friday in a ceremony attended by dignitaries and members of King’s family. The outlet described it as “the largest monument in the country dedicated to racial equity.”
You would expect a moving and inspiring monument. Perhaps something akin to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Well, think again. Instead, we got this as a tribute to one of the most famous Americans in history:
Please read my other tweets about the sculpture—but here is another angle and the photo of the two “The Embrace” is based on. It’s when MLK Jr. found out he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. pic.twitter.com/Q7Vyk7OPKK
— Amaka Ubaka (@AmakaUbakaTV) January 14, 2023
WCVB reported that the sculpture, called “The Embrace,” is meant to portray the moment when King hugged his wife after learning he had won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, and to commemorate his connection to Boston, where he met his wife while studying at Boston University.
The reaction online has been mainly negative.
I have some questions about the MLK sculpture in Boston pic.twitter.com/KVSKmdSw5S
— Marie Sheehan RMA (@irshhnr4) January 14, 2023
There’s a sculptor somewhere giggling uncontrollably. pic.twitter.com/NlSXCQvpwo
— T. Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) January 14, 2023
Should have been lovely & inspiring—instead it’s hideous and depressing.
— Christina Sommers (@CHSommers) January 14, 2023
A sculpture of Dr. King himself and even him and his wife would have been most appropriate. They met in Boston. This “Embrace” sculpture is very weird and does not represent the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Its borderline disrespectful. Fire whoever did this😒
— BlackBeauty🇺🇸 (@BlackBeautyFBA) January 14, 2023
One Twitter user joked that the sculpture could have been created by a white supremacist in order to denigrate MLK’s legacy.
Yeah I thought it was fake at first. Like a racist wanted to mock MLK.
— Cernovich (@Cernovich) January 14, 2023
Frankly, it would not be surprising if that turned out to be the case.
King was one of the most significant figures in the history of this country. He helped America deliver on the promise of its founding for all citizens, regardless of their race.
This monument captures none of that. Instead of a proud tribute to an American hero, we get a mangle of twisted forms that makes no sense and tells us nothing.
American heroes from George Washington to MLK deserve monuments befitting their contributions to this great nation. If we cannot give them that, we risk losing any pride that we have as a country.
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