New monument and garden celebrates Coretta Scott King’s Birthday
In honor of her 96th birthday, the Coretta Scott King Peace and Meditation Garden was dedicated to the legacy of the civil rights activist on the grounds of The King Center in Atlanta which was founded in 1968 by Coretta to memorialize the life, work, legacy and commitment to nonviolence of her husband, slain civil rights leader the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
The garden features a stone-paved area flanked by benches and flower beds leading up to the monument. It is near the eternal flame that burns next to the pool that surrounds the crypt that holds the bodies of Coretta and Martin.
In attendance at the dedication were King family members and civic leaders including former Atlanta mayor and United Nations ambassador Andrew Young, civil rights advocate Xernona Clayton, and others.
Of her mother, the Rev. Bernice King, CEO of The King Center, said “Today’s dedication of this monument is but a beginning. There’s much more to come, and when her legacy is fully revealed, we will know that because of her, because of Mom, because of Coretta Scott King, the dream lives and the legacy continues.”
Following a program that included speeches, a poem, and musical performances, Bernice King and her niece Yolanda Renee King, the 14-year-old granddaughter of Martin and Coretta, untied a ribbon on the gate of the garden and cut another ribbon on the monument.
The monument was commissioned by Hulu as part of its “Made By Her: Monuments” project, which aims to chip away at the gender disparities in public art and follows similar monuments to others including Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader that was commissioned in Los Angeles.
The monument was created by artist Saya Woolfalk, and features a circular “chapel dome” made of steel. Underneath the domed canopy is a bronze cast sculpture of microphones that includes a live microphone that Woolfalk said is meant to allow visitors “to speak their own words and commitments to civil rights and nonviolence.”