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MLK memorial quote taken out of context, says Maya Angelou

Author and poet Maya Angelou is upset about an inscription on the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C.
August 31, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Author and poet Maya Angelou is upset about an inscription on the new Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C.

At issue is the phrase, "I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness."

It is inscribed on a statue of King without quotation marks because it is paraphrased.

Angelou says the shortened version is taken out of context and makes King sound egotistical.

The words are taken from a sermon King delivered two months before he was assassinated.

King talked about a eulogy that could be given when he died, saying: "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 the other shallow things that will not matter."


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