Disputed ‘Drum Major’ Quote to be Removed from Martin Luther King Memorial

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  • WASHINGTON (AP) — The National Park Service says it will begin work today to remove a disputed inscription from the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.

    Contractors will start working to build scaffolding and get equipment in place. Then, on July 29, the sculptor of the memorial, Lei Yixin, will arrive. He will carve grooves over the lettering to match existing marks in the sculpture.

    The inscription is a paraphrase from King’s “Drum Major” speech. It reads, “I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness.”

    Critics, including the poet Maya Angelou, have argued that the quotation was taken out of context and makes King sound arrogant.

    The park service says the quotation will be removed in time for the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington on Aug. 28.

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