Maya Angelou: Martin Luther King memorial inscription misrepresents the civil rights leader
Back from vacation (more on that in the next few days), I find that I missed an earthquake, a hurricane and a plague of locusts. Well, maybe not the locusts, but it sure sounds like it was a hellish week. The mid-Atlantic's weather was so bad that the dedication ceremony for the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial in Washington had to be postponed.
But there still is a squall buffeting the memorial.
Author Maya Angelou has criticized a decision to paraphrase one of King's quotes on the statue. The inscription, taken from a 1968 sermon, says: I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness. That makes King sound like an an "arrogant twit" because it's out of context, Angelou said in a Washington Post report.
Here's the full version, in which King eerily refers to his own eulogy: "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."
Organizers said the complete quotation did not fit as the memorial's design evolved. But that did not matter to Angleou, who told the Post that the paraphrased version "minimizes the man. It makes him seem less than the humanitarian he was. ... It makes him seem an egotist."