A bronze sculpture commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday in Boston is drawing negative reviews.
The $10 million sculpture, titled “The Embrace,” was unveiled at a public ceremony in the Boston Commons on Friday, Jan. 13. The crowd cheered and applauded — until the sculpture was fully unveiled. Then the applause faded, as many in the crowd wondered aloud “What is it?”
Videos and images of “The Embrace” quickly spread across all social media platforms on Friday.
BREAKING: The bronze sculpture called “The Embrace” honoring Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King has just been unveiled on the Boston Common #7news #MLKWeekend #MLKDay2023 pic.twitter.com/IckphP15FL
— Amaka Ubaka (@AmakaUbakaTV) January 13, 2023
Wow, they should fire whoever designed that.
— Jacob Airey (@realJacobAirey) January 14, 2023
Black Twitter expressed disappointment in the sculpture, with many calling for Bostonians to protest the statue and demand it be removed.
The sculpture was inspired by a B&W photo of Dr. King hugging his wife Coretta when he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on October 14, 1964.
Below is the artist Hank Willis Thomas posing with an earlier concept of the sculpture that more closely resembles the original photograph.
Everyone is asking about the creator/artist. https://t.co/1pkC0OC3V6 pic.twitter.com/IPEPrJheaM
— Christina Hendriks (@renissance_1) January 14, 2023
Black Twitter complained that the earlier concept looks nothing like the finished project. Thomas removed the clothing from the statue that is intended to offend the viewing public.
He probably should have kept the clothes on.
— i11umin8ed (@i11umin8ed) January 14, 2023
The black community needs to find new artists. Fast.
— GayLumberjack (@gay_lumberjack) January 14, 2023
He got 10 million for this crap?
— Trek Compsport (@TCompsport) January 15, 2023
Please tell me he's blind. That's the only thing that would actually make sense.
— AmeriCat??First!???????? (@CarolM39) January 15, 2023