The city of Boston unveiled a bronze statue on Friday that was supposed to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., but the chunk of bronze left more than a few observers wondering: Who thought this was a good idea?
The statue is called “The Embrace,” and it was modeled after a famous photo of MLK Jr. and his wife, Coretta Scott King, hugging in Boston. And that’s what it might look like, if you squint a little bit and have a good imagination and you’re viewing from one specific angle.
But in all other cases, the statue looks vaguely phallic — or worse.
The statue is, apparently, the culmination of years of work by social justice activists. It was created by Hank Willis Thomas at a reported cost of more than $10 million. Thomas has been described in the Boston media as a “world renowned conceptual artist.” The 38,000 lbs bronze sculpture was constructed in Washington State.
It has drawn severe criticism, including from relatives of King. Seneca Scott, Coretta Scott King’s first cousin, called the sculpture a “masturbatory metal homage” to her family.
She said the statue might be a blessing in disguise, as it could help expose the “insidiousness of astroturfed woke movements that have come to dominate black America.”
“This sculpture is an especially egregious example of the woke machine’s callousness and vanity,” wrote King.
“Hopefully, it will show more black people that these progressives just aren’t in this for our benefit,” she wrote.
Mass. Gov. Maura Healey, Rep. Ayanna Pressley, and Boston Mayor Michelle Wu all turned out for the unveiling.