City of Atlanta hosted “Made By Her Monuments,” Thursday, April 28, a collaboration between The King Center and Hulu to celebrate civil rights icon and wife of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Dr. Corretta Scott King on what would have been her 96th birthday.
The event marked the first in a series of monuments dedicated to bridging the gender gap in publicly displayed art. The unveiling of the memorial was accompanied by a series of speeches from multiple speakers who are dominating their respective fields, as well as performances by Victory Brinker, a classically trained singer echoing Dr. Scott-King’s background as a classically trained singer, and Jennifer Holliday, a Tony and two-time Grammy Award winner.
Founder and CEO of BWA Studios, Taylor K. Shaw, whose studio is focused on empowering women of color, spoke at the event. She had just come off of the Black History Month series “Your Attention Please,” a series highlighting the life of Dr. Scott-King, which is now streaming on Hulu.
“Having a studio designed to help black women is such an incredible way for us to manifest Dr. Scott’s vision and story. The addition of this monument to honor the legacy of Dr. King is truly sacred,” said Taylor K. Shaw to The Atlanta Voice.
Among the speakers present was Dr. Scott-King’s daughter, Dr. Bernice King, who expressed her admiration for the memorial.“This is amazing. It depicts everything who she was as a person; she was very artistic and creative,” said King.
The memorial was designed by Saya Woolfalk, a visual artist recognized for her use of various media to investigate concepts such as hybridity, science, and race.
“When I came here this morning, it was the first time I saw the monument installed on the grounds. Seeing the monument right next to where Coretta Scott King and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. are buried was such a moving moment for me. It is such a significant and powerful moment,” Woolfalk told The Atlanta Voice.
The monument showcases a lectern at the center of its structure, paying tribute to how Mrs. King was often photographed – standing behind a podium, addressing large audiences. The lectern contains a functioning microphone that permits visitors to actively participate and let their voices be heard. The backdrop of the monument is adorned with a rose pattern inspired by the Coretta Scott King rose – a flower named after her. The structure is surrounded by words such as empathy, change, freedom, justice, peace, compassion, liberty, rights, truth, and community.
A quote from Mrs. King can be found on the monument: “Women, if the soul of the nation is to be saved, I believe that you must become its soul.”