Watertown Group Visited Boston’s Newest Civil Rights Monument

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The new “EMBRACE” civil rights monument at the 1965 Freedom Plaza in Boston honors honors the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr and Coretta Scott King.

The following announcement was provided by Sue-Ellen Hershman-Tcherepnin:

On Friday, Jan. 13, 2023, a small Watertown contingent ventured to Boston Common in humid, drizzly weather to view the unveiling of Boston’s newest monument: Artist Hank Willis Thomas’ bronze sculpture, THE EMBRACE, which honors the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr and Coretta Scott King. Besides celebrating the Kings’ early connections to Boston, the monument also memorializes 65 Boston civil rights heroes and heroines.

Unfortunately the event was never publicly announced as being privately ticketed, so the hundreds of enthusiastic attendees who gathered outside were surprised to discover that the sculpture remained invisible, hidden behind fencing and tents. We were unable to view the ceremony except on jumbotron screens.

Watertown residents Barbara Epstein and Jacqui Gross at the EMBRACE unveiling on Jan. 13.

As we arrived, the jumbotrons were displaying multiple, live interviews by NBC10 of clergy and others as they walked to the event. But unfortunately there was no audio. However there were artworks surrounding the fenced in area, where we viewed beautiful photos and murals by local artists of color.

When the 1:00 ceremony began, it was unfortunate that the jumbotron video was not synchronized with the audio. So it was quite jarring to watch the many inspiring guest speakers and performers on the screen due to 3-5 second delays between their voices and their images.

An illustration on the fencing around the EMBRACE monument on the day of the unveiling.

However a “silver lining” to the “cloud” was serendipitously meeting beloved former Watertown Church of the Good Shepherd minister, Amy McCreath. The Very Rev. McCreath currently serves as Dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral, and she was delighted to see Watertown friends at the celebration. 

The Watertown group ran into Rev. Amy McCreath, formerly of the Church of the Good Shepherd, at the unveiling of the EMBRACE monument.

For anyone interested in viewing the sculpture, a police officer recommended waiting 10 days, when the fencing will all be removed.

4 thoughts on “Watertown Group Visited Boston’s Newest Civil Rights Monument

  1. How disappointing to go all the way into town and find out you were not welcome because it was a ticketed event that left out hundreds of people who had no idea they needed a ticket. And not even be able to see the sculpture. And not be able to hear the remarks. And how contrary to the whole intent of the sculpture in the first place. And to be told to come back in 10 days when the fencing is all removed. You were generous to find some things that saved the day, but it sounds like it was a very frustrating effort.

  2. The sculpture is an abomination. Dr and Mrs King deserve far better, not to mention the city of Boston. I got a chuckle when Dr Alveda King referred to the sculpture as “wierd.”

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