Dr. M.L. King Jr.’s words and intentions twisted by government workers.
About the quote etched in to the national monument…Poet Maya Angelou said:
it makes the civil rights leader sound ‘like an arrogant twit’.
The quote on the side of the memorial states:
“I was a drum major for justice, peace, and righteousness.”
While the quote comes off as a boast, the actual line uttered by MLK in a speech a month before his April 4, 1968, assassination in Memphis had a different tone:
“If you want to say I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace…,” King said, putting a less self-congratulatory spin on it.
The mistake not only makes King sound like “an arrogant twit,” as the poet Maya Angelou said last year, but undermines King’s point in the so-called “Drum-Major Instinct” sermon, which was about the “folly” of wanting “to be great without doing any great, difficult things.”
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