MLK Jr. and Coretta Scott King’s Overshadowed Love Story Steps into the Spotlight with a New Monument
In honor of the love shared between Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King, one of the largest memorials dedicated to racial equality has been unveiled in Boston. The Kings first met in Boston in the 1950s, where Rev. King preached and earned his Ph.D. In 1965, he led a civil rights march to Boston Common, where the 20-foot sculpture called “The Embrace” now stands.
“The Embrace” was presented to the public ahead of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and was designed by Hank Willis Thomas. After looking through hundreds of images of the couple, one photo in particular stood out to Thomas: their reaction when Rev. King won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.
“I just love that image, him hugging her with such glee and such joy and such pride, and I saw the pride on her face,” he said. “And I recognized that this was teamwork. And all of his weight in that picture is, like, on her.”
The sculpture depicts only the arms and hands of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King to highlight this specific moment of intimacy, and it intentionally features both of them to honor how Coretta continued her husband’s work following his death.
“When you're standing inside the sculpture, you will be in the heart of their embrace,” Thomas said. “There are so many monuments to victims of war; there are very, very few monuments to love.”
We encourage you to read more here about how The Embrace sculpture came to life.
Question from the Editor: Do you know of any other monuments to love, and is there another love story you think should be honored in this way?