King Memorial to Lose Controversial Quote

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Ken Salazar, the U.S. Secretary of the Interior, said on Tuesday that alterations will be made to a controversial paraphrase carved into the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

The plan, which must be submitted to the Commission of Fine Arts and the National Capital Planning Commission, calls for the removal of paraphrase, "I was a drum major for peace and righteousness. " Striations will be carved over the lettering to match the existing scratch marks on the sculpture that represent the tearing of the "Stone of Hope" from the "Mountain of Despair."

The memorial to Dr. King opened in 2011, and the paraphrase "I was a drum major for peace and righteousness" immediately became a source of controversy because it was taken out of context, complained Maya Angelou, the poet and writer. The wording made it sound as though Dr. King was boasting, Angelou said.

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