As you may have heard, the new monument on The Boston Common honoring Dr. Martin Luther King and Coretta Scott King has been the topic of both adoration and controversy since its unveiling earlier this month. So, last weekend, I went with my wife and children to visit “The Embrace” and see it for myself.
Personally, I was touched by it – both literally and figuratively. Pictures don’t really do it justice. While their faces are missing (one of the many criticisms of the piece), I could almost feel their soul and message of universal love and respect, especially as I stood within the structure itself.
Of course, everyone has different perspectives. Not only with art but with life itself. Everyone will experience the piece differently and have their own personal feelings about/toward it. So, I encourage you to visit it and experience it for yourself. In the meantime, I leave you with my take-aways:
- Love can conquer all. For me, The Embrace displayed this message of love and hope that Dr. King and his wife shared and stood for. Let’s all try to bring some more of both into this world.
- Controversy sparks dialogue. While maybe not intentional, the controversy around the piece has almost made it larger than life. It has revealed perspectives and generated dialogues that are needed to make positive progress.
- The power of a hug cannot be understated. As a “hugger,” I was personally drawn to the monument and could almost feel the embrace of these two heroes as I stood within it.
- It takes an army (pun not completely intended). The monument is focused on the Kings, but is also surrounded by the names of many Boston civil rights leaders who have helped make a positive impact in the fight for racial equality. If you visit, be sure to read their names and stories, too. (There is an entire digital experience associated with the piece).
- Use your hands. One thing that struck me about the monument was the size and prominence of the hands. To me, they symbolize not only the touch of an embrace but also the hard work it takes to make an impact in the world.
If you haven’t yet visited The Embrace, I strongly recommend doing so. At the very least, I hope it will cause you to think about what it stands for, and how we can all work to bring more love, compassion, and hope to the world.
Small Army | Finn Partners