As we approach the Martin Luther King holiday and reflect on the civil rights issues of our day, the Friends of the Public Garden stands with the team at King Boston in its vision for an inclusive and equitable Boston for all, and welcomes “The Embrace” to the Boston Common.
That the legacy of Dr. King and his wife, Coretta Scott King, should be celebrated in Boston has never been in doubt, but the where, when, and how has been much debated. We are delighted that our nation’s first public park – “the people’s park” where Bostonians have gathered for generations in celebration and protest – will host this important tribute to the Kings.
The Board and leadership of the Friends of the Public Garden have long been a voice for the Boston Common, and we are proud to offer our technical assistance on how best to incorporate this monument within the park. We have shared our knowledge of how the Common is used and what types of maintenance and funding needs should be considered for the long-term care of the monument. We recognize the power of this monument and the opportunity it presents to foster important dialogue.
We appreciate that the King Boston proposal could be an important step forward for our City. The Embrace will be a significant and sought-after attraction with an important message to all – you are welcome here.
Under the leadership of Imari Paris Jeffries, King Boston has made it clear that their vision is about more than a monument; it is a movement centered around community building and advancing the public conversation around racial and economic justice in Boston. The Friends has been engaged in this important work with the Shaw 54th Memorial restoration project and is excited to continue these conversations in collaboration with King Boston and others.
While it is too much to ask any one monument in any one park to single-handedly foster the necessary healing for our City, we are confident that “The Embrace” will be part of the remedy, as will the growing relationship between the Friends of the Public Garden and King Boston.
Leslie Singleton Adam
Chair of the Board