Seneca Scott Wiki, Biography
Seneca Scott, a cousin of Martin Luther King Jr.’s wife, Coretta Scott King, criticized the newly unveiled statue of her family members in Boston. The $20 million, 20-foot-tall statue, called The Hug, depicts the famous hug among civil rights leaders after Martin Luther King Jr. won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.
While speaking to The New York Post on January 15, Scott hit the statue saying:
“The mainstream media…were reporting it like everything was beautiful, because they were told they had to say that. But then, when she came out, a little boy pointed out, ‘That’s piss!’ And everyone was like, ‘Hey, that’s a big dong, man.
She added that if the statute design had been displayed in the neighborhood earlier, no one would have accepted it.
Last year, Seneca Scott lost the Oakland mayoral election. Her grandfather’s brother was Coretta’s father. According to him, her grandfather was one of the 25 children of Jeff Scott, one of the wealthiest black landowners in Alabama. He had only seen Coretta’s father once before he died in 1996.
“This is an eyesore”: Twitter endorsed Seneca Scott’s reaction to the MLK statue
After footage of the unveiling of the bronze statue of Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King in Boston went viral, Twitter users were furious. Several users criticized the piece for being “aesthetically unpleasant”, “horrible”, “obscene”, “terrible”, etc., as it seemed disproportionate from certain angles.
Others were just trying to figure out what the sculptors were thinking when they recreated the legendary couple’s embrace.
Seneca Scott finds newly unveiled MLK statue “insulting”
In an essay written for the online magazine Compact, published on January 15, Seneca Scott criticized the sculpture as an expensive but empty tribute.
In the article titled A Masturbatory ‘Homage’ to My Family, she wrote:
“For my family, it is quite insulting. The sculpture is an especially egregious example of the callousness and vanity of the awakening machine.”
He further continued:
“Ten million dollars wasted to create a masturbatory metal tribute to the legendary members of my family, one of the greatest American families of all time. … How could anyone fail to see that this … brings very little, if any, tangible benefit to struggling black families?
Boston launched a call for artists to build this project in 2017, ultimately choosing Hank Willis Thomas, a Brooklyn-based artist.
On the City of Boston website, it was noted that the sculpture was funded by a public/private fundraising partnership, though the exact amount spent by both parties is unknown. On his website, Thomas wrote about the sculpture, stating:
“When we recognize that all storytelling is an abstraction, all representation is an abstraction, hopefully it allows us to be open to more dynamic and complex forms of representation that don’t bind us to the narrative that oversimplifies a person or their legacy, and I believe that this work really tries to get to the heart of that.”
On January 13, the statue was unveiled at an invitation-only event.