The Martin Luther King, Jr. and Hampton Heroes Memorial Plaza is the City’s first memorial to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It sits proudly in front of the Hampton Roads Convention Center and honors historical giants like Booker T. Washington, the Mercury 7 astronauts, Harrison Phoebus, George P. Phoenix and other lesser-known Hampton figures. The first group of honorees represent significant chapters in Hampton history: Contrabands — Enslaved Journey to freedom, Hidden figures, Public School Integration, and the Founding of Hampton Institute. Thirty-three citizens and groups are celebrated on the memorial for their contributions to social justice, peace and progressive work in the City of Hampton. It is a living monument, and space is reserved to carve in the names of future heroes.
Before the plaza was constructed, there were three materials where the monument sits today: cascading water, cast concrete and formed earth. We introduced a fourth material, weathering steel, that oxidizes through an additive process, to represent future honorees who will be added to the sculpture.
The back of the panel devoted to Dr. King is the quote, “until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream…”