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Monday, 16 January 2023 – A relative of US civil rights movement leader, Martin Luther King have slammed the new $10 million dedicated to him and his late wife, Coretta Scott King in Boston, United States, with a cousin claiming it “looks like a penis.”
The massive bronze piece, titled “The Embrace,” features two sets of arms holding each other, an artistic interpretation of the classic photo of Coretta and hubby Martin Luther King Jr. hugging after he won the Nobel Peace Price in 1964.
“The Embrace” has been criticized for looking more like a phallic image than a depiction of slain civil-rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife, Coretta Scott King, embracing.
Members of the King family last week unveiled the artwork near where MLK and Coretta first met in college.
Martin Luther King III, the grandchild of MLK approved the piece, which was designed by conceptual artist Hank Willis Thomas for the organization Embrace Boston.
“The mainstream media … was reporting on it like it was all beautiful, ’cause they were told they had to say that,” Seneca Scott, Coretta’s cousin, told The NY Post on Sunday, January 15 referring to the new artwork in The Boston Commons.
“But then when it came out, a little boy pointed out — ‘That’s a penis!’ and everyone was like, ‘Yo, that’s a big old dong, man,” said the 43-year-old.
“If you had showed that statute to anyone in the ’hood, they’d have been like, ‘No, absolutely not.’
He added: “Ten million dollars were wasted to create a masturbatory metal homage to my legendary family members — one of the all-time greatest American families.”
“woke culture allowed the expensive abstract experiment to come to fruition.
The artwork’s funding was the result of a public/private fundraising partnership, the city of Boston said on its online site. It’s unclear how much public money may have gone into the sculpture.
“When we recognize that all storytelling is an abstraction, all representation is an abstraction, hopefully it allows us to be open to more dynamic and complex forms of representation that don’t stick us to narrative that oversimplifies a person or their legacy, and I think this work really tries to get to the heart of that,” the artist says on his Web site.
Seneca told The Post, “The woke algorithm is just broke, I don’t know what else to tell you.
“If you went through all of that and that’s what you came up with, something’s wrong,” he said.
Seneca’s grandfather was one of 25 children of Jeff Scott, the son of a slave who became one of Alabama’s wealthiest black landowners, Seneca said. His grandfather’s brother, Obadiah, fathered Coretta, who Seneca said he met once at a family reunion before her 2006 death.
Seneca told The Post that while he couldn’t speak for other members of the family, he felt the 25-foot-wide 65,000-pound sculpture was a “waste of money” that should be “melted down.
“It’s doubly insulting to the black community, who still on average … too many of us are below the poverty line,” Scott said.
“You’re spending $10 million on a bronze statue without heads on it? Man, it’s a joke.”
Seneca said the best way to observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday was through “action.
“No performative, no photo ops, put your phone down and go do [an act of service] that no one knows about,” he said.