BUFFALO, N.Y. – There’s an effort underway aimed at removing and replacing a bust of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the park that bears his name in Buffalo.
Sam Herbert of the Coalition to Save MLK Park said “it’s time to remove that head, melt it down, and create an enlarged life size image.” When asked why now, Herbert said the image on display is no longer acceptable. “It does not look like Dr. Martin Luther King,” he said in an interview with Channel 2’s Claudine Ewing.
The metal bust is 8 feet tall on a stone base. There is a plaque beneath it with an image of Dr. King that looks more like the late civil rights leader.
“In 1983 when they did the unveiling you should’ve heard the disappointment from the sound of people that was standing around, it was an insult and we got duped,” said Herbert. He plans to speak with City of Buffalo officials or the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy, a non-profit, that manages the park.
He thinks the head is more like Egyptian symbolism.
According to city of Buffalo documents, the artist for the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial was John Wilson (Sculptor), Paul King Foundry (Founder).
On January 15, Herbert plans to kick off a petition drive to call for the removal and replacement of the bust. He wants to collect 10,000 signatures from people all across Erie County.
“Children that grow up in Buffalo should be able to see the real image of Dr. King and not a metaphor.”