The stunning granite statue of Martin Luther King, Jr. by Chinese sculptor Lei Yixin dominates the four acre memorial dedicated to the memory of one of America’s most famous, impactful civil rights leaders. Drawing heavily on King’s own rich language, the memorial takes on the themes of "the Man, the Movement and the Message."
King's quote, "Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope," is taken from a 1963 speech and engraved into the side of the centerpiece.
The King Memorial added 182 cherry blossoms to the Tidal Basin's collection. Each year the peak blooming period for the trees coincides with the anniversary of King's assassination, April 4.
Fourteen of King's most notable quotes are engraved on a 450-foot, crescent-shaped granite wall. None of the inscriptions are from King's "I Have a Dream" speech. Designers wanted to draw from King's lesser-known speeches.
The King memorial stands more than 30 feet tall. It was carved in China and traveled 11,000 miles by ship to the United States.
The memorial was conceived to convey four fundamental and recurring themes throughout King's life: democracy, justice, hope and love.
Sculptor Lei Yixin's signature.