In Boston, ‘The Embrace’ Honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Legacy

Kalia Richardson for New York Times
The bronze sculpture, by the artist Hank Willis Thomas, symbolizes the hug Dr. King and Coretta Scott King shared after Dr. King won the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize.

In 1965, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led a rally from Roxbury, a predominantly Black neighborhood in Boston, to the Boston Common. With the crowd of 20,000 singing and chanting freedom songs, that rally marked one of the first civil rights marches in the Northeast. On Friday, more than 50 years later, a 20-foot-tall monument was unveiled at the country’s oldest public park honoring Dr. King and Coretta Scott King’s legacy. Titled “The Embrace,” the sculpture symbolizes the hug the couple shared after Dr. King won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.


The artist Hank Willis Thomas, who was chosen in 2019 along with MASS Design Group out of 126 submissions, said that with so many monuments dedicated to war, he crafted a sculpture that spreads a message of love and reiterates the Kings’ message of nonviolence and solidarity.

January 15, 2023