Jul. 28, 2014   64°F   School Closings
Listen Live WCPN / WCLV
ideastream
Mission 4
Values 1
Values 2
Values 3
Vision 3
Vision 4
Vision 5
Values 4
Values 5
Values 6
Vision 1
Vision 2

Choose a station:

90.3 WCPN
WCLV 104.9
WVIZ/PBS

Choose a station:

90.3 WCPN
WCLV 104.9
WVIZ/PBS

Inscription On Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial To Be Removed

Posted: December 11, 2012

Share on Facebook Share Share on Twitter Tweet

The quote will be removed instead of replaced to avoid harming the monument's structural integrity. Critics, including poet Maya Angelou, had criticized the current iteration of the "Drum Major" quote, saying it made King sound arrogant.

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar endorsed a plan Tuesday to remove the disputed

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar endorsed a plan Tuesday to remove the disputed "drum major" inscription from the memorial and replace it with a fuller version of the quote. Jacquelyn Martin

The controversial paraphrased quote on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C., will be removed.

A plan to remove the "Drum Major" inscription was approved Tuesday by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. Here's more from the statement announcing the move:

"Following consultation with a range of stakeholders, the updated plan calls for removing the quote by carving striations over the lettering to match the existing scratch marks on the sculpture that represent the tearing of the 'Stone of Hope' from the 'Mountain of Despair.' The plan to remove, instead of replace, the quote was recommended by the original sculptor, Master Lei Yixin, as the safest way to ensure the structural integrity of the memorial was not compromised. After close consultation with all parties, Secretary Salazar, the National Park Service, the King family and the Memorial Foundation, and Master Lei Yixin all concur that this is the best path forward."

As it now stands, the paraphrased quotation reads: "I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness." But critics, including the poet Maya Angelou, said that the quotation made King sound arrogant.

The full quotation reads:

"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."

King uttered those words in a 1968 sermon two months before he was assassinated.

"While our family would have of course preferred to have the entire 'Drum Major' quote used, we fully endorse and support the Secretary's proposal," said Christine King Farris, King's sister, said in the statement.

The memorial will remain open during the corrective work, the statement said, but visitors should expect limited visibility during some of the process. Work will begin next February and is expected to be completed by spring.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Tags

The Two-Way

Leave a Comment

Please follow our community discussion rules when composing your comments.