Quote Corrected On MLK Memorial

The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial will be ready for the 50th anniverary of the March on Washington after a truncated quote has been removed from the monument.

Copyright © 2013 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The Martin Luther King Junior memorial in Washington, D.C. will be ready for the 50th anniversary of the civil rights March on Washington. The sculpture, which looks out on the city's tidal basin has been covered in scaffolding to correct an inscription on the monument. Since it was put up in 2011, it has had a truncated version of a quotation from a speech King gave in 1968.

The words were, quote, "I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness." Critics pointed out that this was not what Dr. King actually said and that it could be interpreted as arrogance on his part. What he actually said was this:

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED SPEECH)

DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.: 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.

MARTIN: Workers have now removed the phrase and the monument will be open for the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington on August 28.

Copyright © 2013 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.