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Boston’s Martin Luther King Jr. monument draws ridicule and criticism

Boston’s Martin Luther King Jr. monument draws ridicule and criticism

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A backlash followed soon after monument intended to honor The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and his wife Coretta Scott Kingthe legacy of in boston was revealed.

20 feet high, 40 feet wide “The Hug” the statue was unveiled Friday on the Boston Common, where King gave a speech on April 23, 1965, to a crowd of 22,000. The statue was inspired by a photo of King and Scott King embracing after he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.

The artwork designed by a concept artist from Brooklyn Hank Willis Thomas, showing only the couple’s hands during the embrace, but not their heads, which drew criticism and mockery online. Some people described it as disgusting or disrespectful, while others posted memes and said it resembled a sexual act.

Seneca Scott, a community organizer in Oakland, California, and Scott King’s cousin, told CNN the statue was offensive to his family. He previously described it as a “masturbatory metal curtsy” in an essay published by Compact Magazine.

“If you can look at it from all angles and it’s probably two people hugging, that’s four hands.” Not the missing heads are the cruelty that other people attribute to it; it’s a stump that looked like a penis. It’s a joke,” Scott told CNN.

But Martin Luther King III said Monday that he was grateful to be able to see a statue representing his parents’ love story and their partnership. Although some people have a negative opinion of the monument, he told CNN’s Don Lemon on Monday that he likes it.

“I think it’s a huge representation of people coming together,” King said. “I think the artist did a great job. I am satisfied. Yes, it didn’t have the images of my mother and father, but it represents something that brings people together.”

“And in this time, day and age, when there is so much division, we need symbols that speak to unite us,” he added.

CNN reached out to Thomas for comment on the reaction to “The Embrace.” in his newsletterThomas said earlier this month that the piece is not just a memorial to King and Scott King, “but a memorial to the love and power that it holds.”

A representative for Embrace Boston, the racial and economic justice nonprofit behind the monument, declined to comment on the criticism and deferred to King III’s comments.

“The hug is intended to inspire visitors to reflect on the values ​​of racial and economic justice that both kings espoused,” the group said of the memorial on its website.

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