Celebrated poet and author Maya Angelou continued her criticism of the inscription etched on the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial, saying an edit of the civil rights leader’s statement makes him appear arrogant.
In a statement issued earlier this week, the memorial’s executive architect Ed Jackson stood by the wording and said there are no plans to alter the structure.
One of the inscriptions reads: “I was a drum major for justice peace and righteousness.”
Angelou says the passage was edited from a 1968 sermon at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta and an important clause was taken out.
King’s original words were: “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.”
Leaving out the “if” changes the meaning, Angelou said.
“It should not be seen like he was so full of himself. Because he was not. He was a very humble man,” she said. “It is not an apt reportage of what Dr. King said. It is an edited statement.”
Angelou said she hoped the inscription can be changed at some point.
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Article courtesy cnn.com