"Everything BUT Reparations, Happy Birthday Dr. King "

"Everything BUT Reparations, Happy Birthday Dr. King "


On Jan 13, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts, Hank Willis Thomas and Helen Banach unveiled a statue memorial of two embracing arms of Dr. Martin Luther King and his wife, Coretta Scott King. This memorial, titled "Embrace" is placed in the location where the young Martin and Coretta first met. This is yet another symbolic gesture (in a long line of symbolic gestures)  to signify "change and unity" INSTEAD of what Dr. King would have truly wanted for his people, Reparations.

There hasn't been any change or unity, but an ILLUSION of Racial Equality. Meanwhile, Black Americans were better off when MLK was alive and segregation was the way of life than when he was assassinated by the US Government. We had our own black neighborhoods, we owed homes, attended black schools, were patients to black doctors, hired black lawyers, read black newspapers, put money in black banks, spent money in black businesses and we generated wealth within our community.

What hurt this progression was constant racial terror, assassinations, and political disenfranchisement. Local municipalities, the States, as well as the Federal Government were complicit in these acts. 

Today, we are more impoverished and discriminated against than ever. This symbolic gesture is not only a slap in the face but an act of war. To humiliate a people by constantly propping up a man that they despise and ultimately assassinated. Meanwhile, Black Americans still face criminalization and ethnocide. Henry and Helen decided to recreate a photo of young Martin and Coretta King, together embracing each other warm, soulful and casually,…but only of their  arms...."The Embrace”….There has not been an embrace but an effort of destruction against Black Americans from all entities of the US government. When Dr. King said; ”I think I led my people into a burning building…”, he wasn’t lying.... 

 I suspect, given the racist history of Boston, that they would've only approved the arms as opposed to the full image of the "The Embrace" shown here....


There are memorials, statues, schools, and a Martin Luther King Blvd in every urban community, but what Dr. King truly wanted for his people was tangibles. A chance for his people to build wealth and pass it down to their descendants.

April 2, 1968 2 days before he was assassinated Dr. Martin Luther King referenced reparations in his final speech...

"We're coming to get our check...."

Dr. King sacrificed his life for a change that we unfortunately have yet to see. Black Americans and your true allies will always remember what happened to you and continue our fight for reparations.


- Heaven Nicole 



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1 comment

Very poignant and very true. Enjoyed this read. Please write and share more. Your star is rising, rising, and rising, Heaven Nicole🌞👑

Jackson Harlem

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