Martin Luther King memorial quote ditched

2012-12-13 14:00
Martin Luther King Jnr memorial. (File, AFP)

Martin Luther King Jnr memorial. (File, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - A controversially paraphrased quote from Martin Luther King Jnr is to be erased from the Washington monument honouring the slain civil rights leader, officials said on Wednesday.

Taking advice from the monument's Chinese sculptor Lei Yixin, the Department of Interior opted to remove the "drum major" inscription altogether, rather than engrave the original phrase in its entirety.

Lei and his team will undertake the work themselves sometime after Martin Luther King Day - a federal holiday that falls on 21 January, the same day as the public inauguration of President Barack Obama's second term.

Critics said the quote on the white granite monument - "I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness" - took King's original words out of context and made him appear to have been arrogant.

King had said in a sermon a few months before his 1968 assassination: "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."

Obama dedicated the monument - the only one on the National Mall dedicated to a person of a minority ethnic background or to an individual who was never a US president - in October last year.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    martin luther king jnr  |  us publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Habana believes in younger Boks
All Blacks ready for a 'hell of a battle'
Barnes to ref Boks, Wales clash
Brave Blossoms: 'Sport heroes of Japan'

Your incisive and innovative mind is on fire. You may be keen to explore new avenues that can help to inspire you. You more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.