The quotation on the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial in Washington will be changed after advocates complained that the current quote misrepresented King.
The current quotation on the memorial reads:
“I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness.”
Advocates say that the quote makes King look arrogant. Poet Maya Angelou had said that the current quote makes the civil rights leader sound “like an arrogant twit.”
The quote was taken from a speech King gave in Atlanta on Feb. 4, 1968. What King actually said was:
“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.”
MSNBC reports that Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has given the National Park Service 30 days to choose a better quotation. The National Park Service will consult with the King Memorial Foundation and King’s family to find a quote to be inscribed on the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial.
“This is important because Dr. King and his presence on the Mall is a forever presence for the United States of America, and we have to make sure that we get it right.”
Do you have a favorite Martin Luther King Jr. quote? Here’s my pick:
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
What do you think should be inscribed on the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial?