BOSTON (WBZNewsRadio) - On Friday, a 22-foot tall bronze Embrace Memorial will be unveiled on the Boston Common. It's the first new monument constructed on the Common in more than three decades.
The monument depicts the literal embrace between Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife, Coretta Scott King, after Dr. King won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. The monument will sit in the same spot that Dr. King led a civil rights march from Roxbury to the Common in 1965, aptly known as the '1965 Freedom Plaza.' The site simultaneously honors 69 local civil rights heroes selected by their communities for their work during the Kings' time in the city.
The monument comes from the non-profit Embrace Boston, which raised $8 million to create the piece of art and another $2.5 million to preserve it for years to come. The sculpture was designed by world-renowned conceptual artist Hank Willis Thomas and global award-winning design firm MASS Design Group.
Governor Maura Healey is set to speak at Friday's afternoon unveiling alongside Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, the King Family, Embrace Executive Director Imari Paris Jeffries, and other Massachusetts elected officials, including Boston Mayor Michelle Wu and former Governor Deval Patrick.
Ahead of the unveiling Healey said the memorial is particularly meaningful given the "narrative' of Boston (and Massachusetts generally) as a racist place and called the unveiling "a moment of celebration."
Speaking on the "Java with Jimmy" show on Thursday, she said she is grateful "to finally see this happen."
"I think, Jimmy, it means something for Boston and Massachusetts where there's been a narrative at times that this hasn't been a place welcoming, particularly to Black Americans and people of color," the governor said. "And we can have a real conversation and acknowledgement about that ... It's against that narrative that I want to do this equity work, that I want to work to fight systemic racism and tear down those barriers."
The unveiling ceremony begins Friday afternoon at 1 p.m.
WBZ's James Rojas (@JamesRojasNews) reports