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Symbolism
  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a master orator and is shown speaking to the public
  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. changed the way America viewed each other through his speeches
  • Balustrade represents barrier of inequality
  • Balustrade is curved to show him pushing against this barrier
  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is shown reaching over and beyond this barrier symbolizing that equality can be possible
  • Balustrade is a simple form representing the times he was jailed for his beliefs-his sacrifice for the freedom of others
  • This sacrifice is exemplified in the baluster's main support breaking the shackles/handcuffs of restraint and oppression
  • Balustrade is also curved to reflect and compliment the oval form of the platform
  • Plaques inlaid into the retaining wall have quotations from his speeches; all reflecting Dr. King's quest for FREEDOM

Inset Black Granite Plaques

Plaque #1

Dr. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.
January 15, 1929 - April 4, 1968
(In the center of the 2ft. retaining wall below sculpture)


Plaque #2

"I HAVE A DREAM"
(On the left of the 2ft. retaining wall below sculpture)

Plaque #3

"Free at last. Free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last."
(On the right of the 2ft. Retaining wall below sculpture)

Inlaid Black Granite Plaques with Quotes

Plaque #4

"Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plain of dignity and discipline."
"I Have A Dream" August 28, 1963
Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C.

Plaque #5

"For when people get caught up with that which is right and they are willing to sacrifice for it, there is no stopping point short of victory."
"I've Been To The Mountaintop" April 3, 1968
Masonic Temple, Memphis, Tennessee

Plaque #6

"I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality."
Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech December 10, 1964
Oslo, Norway

Plaque #7

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
Letter from Birmingham Jail April 16, 1963
Birmingham, Alabama

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©2007 Stephen H. Smith, Sculptor : email