MLK memorial quote taken out of context, says Maya Angelou

WASHINGTON

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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