Photo: Getty Images
  /  01.15.2023

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy continues to inspire legions of people across the globe. His impact is especially felt as many prepare to observe MLK Day on Monday (Jan. 16). The federal holiday has been recognized since 1986.

On Sunday (Jan. 15), President Joe Biden traveled to Atlanta to attend a service at Ebenezer Baptist Church on what would have been Dr. King’s 94th birthday. He is expected to “deliver remarks reflecting on Dr. King’s life and legacy, and the way that we can go forward together,” according to a White House statement. The historic house of worship was once helmed by Dr. King when he co-pastored alongside his father Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr.

On Friday (Jan. 13), a statue commemorating the late civil rights icon and his wife, Coretta Scott King, was unveiled in Boston. The bronze sculpture titled “The Embrace” pays homage to a famous photograph of Dr. King and Coretta hugging after he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. Artist Hank Willis Thomas is the man responsible for bringing to fruition a structure that stands 20 feet tall and 26 feet wide. He was selected out of 125 artists and architects who submitted applications in hopes of being selected for the grand task.

“When I submitted the proposal, I didn’t even think that we really had a chance,” Thomas, 46, told NBC News. “By the time it was approved, I guess I’ve just been on autopilot, like, ‘OK, how do I just not get in the way of history?’ It really has been my mission over the past several years.” Thomas continued, “In that picture, you can see the weight of him on her shoulders as they embrace. And I realized that this was really a metaphor for his legacy — that she carried his legacy on her shoulders for several decades after he was assassinated.” The work of art is just one of the many ways that the activist is remembered.

View some of the other tributes below.

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