Home News Quote on MLK Memorial Will Be Changed

Quote on MLK Memorial Will Be Changed

The inscription currently reads: "I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness." The phrase is chiseled into one side of a massive block of granite that includes King's likeness emerging from the stone.

WASHINGTON — A quote carved in stone on the new Martin Luther King memorial in Washington will be changed after the inscription was criticized for not accurately reflecting the civil rights leader’s words.

The Washington Post first reported on Friday the decision to change the inscription, which currently reads: “I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness.” The phrase is chiseled into one side of a massive block of granite that includes King’s likeness emerging from the stone. It became a point of controversy after the memorial opened in August.

The phrase is modified from a sermon known as the “Drum Major Instinct,” in which the 39-year-old King explained to his Atlanta congregation how he would like to be remembered at his funeral. He made the February 1968 speech just two months before he was assassinated in Memphis, Tenn.

In the speech, King’s words seem more modest than the paraphrased inscription: “Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter.”

Poet Maya Angelou previously said the truncated version made King sound like “an arrogant twit” because it was out of context.

A spokesman for the U.S Department of the Interior confirmed on Friday that Interior Secretary Ken Salazar decided to have the quote changed. It’s not clear how much the cost of any change might be or how it would be paid for.

Salazar gave the National Park Service, which the U.S Department of the Interior oversees, a month to consult with the King Memorial Foundation, which led the effort to build the memorial, as well as family members and other interested parties. The committee is supposed to come up with a more accurate alternative to the quote.

Must Read

BROADWAY’S IDINA MENZEL DEBUTS AT LA’S GEFFEN PLAYHOUSE IN ‘SKINTIGHT”

For the last decade or so playwrights and artistic directors have been leading the charge toward change in what is being produced in America's...

Pet Adoption Can Be a Win for All

3 Ways Pet Adoption Can Be a Win for All Pet adoption improves – and sometimes saves – the lives of millions...

PLAYWRIGHT PETER SHAFFER’S POWERFUL TONY AWARD-WINNING DRAMA “AMADEUS” WOWS AUDIENCES AT NORTH COAST REPERTORY THEATRE

English playwright Sir Peter Schaffer’s stunning 1979 Tony-winning play “Amadeus; went on to win the 1985 Motion Picture Academy Award Oscar along with seven...

SAN DIEGO’S OLD GLOBE THEATRE STAGES “ROMEO AND JULIET” THE WORLD’S GREATEST LOVE STORY

There have been many love stories written about the redemptive power of love in all its art forms: poems, songs, odes, sonnets, essays, novels, movies,...

SAN DIEGO’S OLD GLOBE THEATRE DELIVERS A DELIGHTFUL WINNING COMEDY ROMP

Silly is, as silly does, could easily be the subtitle following the name of the current comedy/farce romp "The Underpants," now on stage at...
%d bloggers like this: