Martin Luther King, Riverside
Riverside City Hall, Riverside, California
In 1999 I created a new sculpture of Martin Luther King for the city of Riverside, located in front of City Hall. In this sculpture I included the narrative images in low relief similar to my previous Martin Luther King sculptures, but it differs in that I included two children marching along with Dr. King at his side. At the time that I created the sculpture I was teaching at Santa Clara University and I worked with two local children from the community that came and posed for the sculpture. The idea of including the children was inspired by Dr. King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech in which he expressed his desire for there to be a future in which “children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
Dr. King sacrificed his own comfortable family life to be on the front lines of this important movement for social change. In doing so, he was working to ensure a better future for all of our children and all of our grandchildren; to look forward to a future in which racism could be a thing of the past. This sculpture is meant to be a reminder and an inspiration to all of us to think about the kind of world we want to leave for our children. Dr. King’s insistence on nonviolent activism, and on confronting the moral injustices of inequality and racism within our system and within our culture, is something deserving to be etched in bronze.- So that for future generations these stories my never be forgotten, and in hopes that we someday may truly live up to Dr. King’s dream.