Above: the bust of Dr Martin Luther King, Jr in Bimini (BIS Photo)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
The Bahamas has unveiled a bust honouring the late American civil rights leader Dr Martin Luther King, who paid several visits to the island in the 1960s.
It was in Bimini that Dr King wrote the acceptance speech for his Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, along with his sanitation workers speech and his own eulogy in 1968, the latter two before he was assassinated in Memphis.
The bust, which is made of bronze, is mounted in the Bimini Craft Centre. It was designed by sculptor Erik Blome. Another bust was also erected in Bimini’s famous mangroves, where Dr King spent time with bone fisherman Captain Ansil Saunders.
“This event marks the establishment of an international memorial in Bimini honouring the transforming work and great legacy of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Dr Martin Luther King, Jr,” Prime Minister Perry Christie said. “His extreme sacrifice, brilliant life, his vision of non-violent change while impacting the United States of America and the international community, inspired the founding fathers of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, led by our Prime Minister Sir Lynden Pindilng, in this nation’s struggle for self-determination and independence.”
According to Christie, a friendship formed between Dr King and Pindling.
“The rich history which is shared in Bimini has been influenced by native sons like Ansil Saunders, renowned boat-builder, freedom-fighter and articulate orator,” Christie said, pointing to the rich list of famous visitors to the Bimini chain, from Adam Clayon Powell to Ernest Hemingway.