Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Sculpture, Charlotte
Selma Burke, Designer
Selma Burke, Sculptor
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Statue is located in Marshall Park in Charlotte. The statue is 8 feet tall and depicts King with his left foot raised onto a step and his right arm outstretched, as if reaching for something. He stands atop a stone base with each side bearing an inscription. The monument was dedicated on April 5, 1980, during a ceremony in which Reverend Martin Luther King, Sr., Governor Jim Hunt, and creator Selma Burke spoke.
Front of base: 1929-1968 / DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. / WHO DARED TO MAKE THE AMERICAN / DREAM OF FREEDOM FOR ALL / AMERICANS A REALITY / THE MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. MEMORIAL COMMISSION
Right side of base: SCULPTOR / DR. SELMA BURKE 1980
April 5, 1980
35.219420 , -80.838340 View in Geobrowse
"MLK Statue in Charlotte," YouTube video, posted by NCphotogSeth, October 14, 2011, (accessed June 12, 2014) Link
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Grooms, John. "Charlotte needs to replace 'World's Worst MLK statue'," The CLOG (Charlotte, NC), January 7, 2011, (accessed June 4th, 2014) Link
Mecklenburg County, NC Park and Recreation, “Marshall Park,” (accessed March 16, 2014) Link
Roadside America, “Unloved MLK Statue,” (accessed June 4, 2014) Link
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King Memorial Commission
The monument was unveiled on April 5, 1980 in Marshall Park in Charlotte. Three thousand spectators crowded around as a cloth was removed from atop the statue, presenting it to the crowd. Reverend Martin Luther King, Sr., Governor Jim Hunt, and Sculptor Selma Burke all addressed the crowd during the ceremony. Reverend King was also slated to preach at 11:00 am the following day at Mayfield Memorial Baptist Church.
The monument pays homage to one of the most influential activists from the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.
In 1996, the monument was vandalized, with a swastika painted on its base. The case was handled by the Special Information Bureau of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.
The monument is located along E. 3rd Street in Marshall Park, Charlotte, NC. Marshall Park is also home to aHolocaust Memorial marker.
Since the monument is located in a park, the landscape surrounding the monument is always well-kept and attractive.