Annual tributes and commemorations of the life and legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. began nationwide Friday and included the unveiling of a statue in Boston.
The 20-foot-high bronze sculpture called "The Embrace" is said to be one of the country’s largest memorials dedicated to racial equity.
When looking at the sculpture, you’ll see four intertwined arms — inspired by a photo of the civil rights leader and his wife, Coretta Scott King, when they learned he had won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.
(L) Embrace, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. memorial sculpture at Boston Common. (Photo by Lane Turner/The Boston Globe via Getty Images). (R) Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. hugs his wife Coretta during a news conference following the announcement that he had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. via Getty Images
King first met his wife in Boston in the early 1950s, when he was a doctoral student in theology at Boston University and she was studying at the New England Conservatory of Music.
"My parents’ time in Boston is often a forgotten part of their history – and the history of the movement they helped inspire," said Martin Luther King, III in a press release. "The Embrace is a commemoration of their relationship and journey and represents the meaningful role Boston served in our history."
He and his family attended the unveiling.
The $9.5 million sculpture was designed by Hank Willis Thomas and MASS Design Group and was selected out of 126 proposals. It was installed on the Boston Common, not far from where King led a rally and march in 1965.
The memorial will be officially open to the public in early February, at the start of Black History Month. Embrace Boston, formerly known as King Boston, will offer a digital "eyes-up" audio learning experience.
Just last month in Boston, the city council approved to form a task force to study how reparations can be provided to Black Bostonians for the city's role in slavery and its legacy of inequality.
It's one of several in commission across the country.
The Martin Luther King Jr. holiday — on its 38th year in observance — kicks off another year of advocacy on a racial justice agenda — from police reforms and strengthening voting rights to solutions on economic and educational disparities — that has been stymied by culture wars and partisan gridlock in Washington and nationwide.
This story was reported from Detroit. The Associated Press contributed.