King Boston, a group set up to select and build a memorial for Martin Luther King, said today it's selected "The Embrace," by Hank Willis Thomas and the MASS Design Group.
Inspired by images of the Kings locked in a powerful embrace and walking arm in arm at the frontlines of a protest or march, the sculpture depicts clasped arms in the Boston Common. "Is there a more radical act of justice than love?" asks Michael Murphy, founding principal and executive director of MASS Design Group.
Through the sculpture and landscape, the artists chose to focus on the act rather than the individual, to highlight our collective role in advancing the vision - exactly what the Kings sought to engender. By solidifying the ideals of inclusion that the Kings sought to defend in their united life of activism, the artists aim to call people into the act of empathy and action. Passersby will be able to walk beneath the interlocked arms of the sculpture, and the artists are siting the monument to create two gathering spaces - one facing the State House, and the other facing toward the iconic Parkman Bandstand, where Dr. King addressed the Common in April 1965.
King Boston hopes to have the statue ready for unveiling sometime next year. It now begins work on a potential King Center for Economic Justice in Roxbury.
The King Center is envisioned as a dynamic space for civic education, reflection and debate that deploys tools to help drive resident-informed strategies to promote economic mobility in Roxbury and beyond.
Compare the five memorial finalists.