Bahamas to Erect Bust of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Bimini

Martin Luther King Jr. spent several vacations in Bimini, where it is said, he went to relax and to go bonefishing, when he was not working on his Nobel Prize acceptance speech. Now the Bahamas is set to honor him with a bust on this small island, in the mangrove area where he used to fish.

In 1964, Dr Martin Luther King, Jr went to the Bahamas to work on his Nobel Prize Acceptance speech. King traveled to Bimini, the westernmost island in the Bahamian archipelago and a frequent haunt of Ernest Hemingway. It was the first of two visits to Bimini (he returned to write another speech in 1968) where he memorably went bonefishing, taken along by boatbuilder and now-local historian Ansil Saunders and then-Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr, who also made a home on the island.

Now, the Bahamas plans to commemorate the event in what is a quickly-growing tourist destination (and home to the country’s largest marina at the Bimini Bay Resort). In October, the government plans to unveil a bust of Dr King, placed in the mangroves near which King and Saunders went bonefishing in 1964 and 1968, it announced Wednesday. “Dr King’s feeling was that only God could have created this spot with its pristine environment,” Prime Minister Perry Christie said. “It is critical to the building up of our country.”

The bust will be designed by noted sculptor Erik Blome. As part of the launch, the government is creating a scholarship for Bahamian students to attend the Edward Waters College in Jacksonville, Fla. The aim of the project is to bring attention to King’s time in Bimini, according to the government. The bust will be unveiled Oct. 7.

For original articles, see http://www.caribjournal.com/2012/08/08/bahamas-to-erect-bust-of-dr-martin-luther-king-jr-in-bimini/ and http://www.bahamasb2b.com/news/2012/08/martin-luther-king-to-be-honoured-with-sculpture-in-bimini-24483.html

For more information on Martin Luther King Jr’s trips to Bimini, see http://laststands.kennedywarne.com/martin-luther-king-and-the-mangroves

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