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Thursday, September 1, 2011

 

Maya Angelou furious over quote on MLK memorial King looks like 'arrogant twit'

Maya Angelou furious over shortened quote on MLK memorial that makes King look like 'arrogant twit'

Rheana Murray
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Thursday, September 1st 2011, 4:00 AM

Maya Angelou (inset) is angry that Martin Luther King Jr.'s quote was shortened on the memorial.
 
Ted Hollins; Charles Dharapak/AP
 
Maya Angelou (inset) is angry that Martin Luther King Jr.'s quote was shortened on the memorial.
 
A top architect of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial has been criticized for paraphrasing a quote that was inscribed on a statue of the famed civil rights leader - making him seem like an "arrogant twit."

Poet Maya Angelou, who is a consultant for the memorial, is fuming because she believes the restated words completely change the quote's meaning in a way that is unflattering to King, The Washington Post reported.

"The quote makes Dr. Martin Luther King look like an arrogant twit," she railed.

But Ed Jackson Jr., the executive architect of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial, told the paper he got the thumbs-up from the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, which was overseeing design of the memorial.

The original quote comes from a speech King gave during a sermon at an Atlanta church two months before he was assassinated.

"If you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice," King said, riffing on how he might be described after his death.

"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."

But that was not the quote that ended up carved into the north face of the 30-foot-tall granite statue in Washington D.C. It now reads: "I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness."

Angelou, who was one of those chosen to pick out quotes for the statue, told the paper that the shortened version of the quote radically misses the point.

"It makes him seem less than the humanitarian he was," she said. "It makes him seem an egotist."

"He had no arrogance at all," she continued. "He had a humility that comes from deep inside. The 'if' clause that is left out is salient. Leaving it out changes the meaning completely."

The designers of the memorial originally intended to inscribe the entire quote on the statue's south face, the paper reported. But a change in plans moved the "drum major" quote onto the north face, where there wasn't enough room.

Jackson told the paper that the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts agreed to use the paraphrased quote.

"We sincerely felt passionate that the man's own eulogy should be expressed on the stone," Jackson said. "We said the least we could do was define who he was based on his perception of himself: 'I was a drum major for this, this and this.'"


Comments:
The undertones of institutionized racism.
Maya Angelou, a 3rd rate poet looking for another 15 minutes of fame. If it wasn't for Oprah nobody would even know who she is. Now she's got a big head and a mouth to match.
They said what King told them to say. Time for Maya to come back down to Earth.
Agree with Maya Angelou! Not only does it change the meaning it sounds like he's talking from the grave which is impossible! Those idiots! Surely, this will get repaired!
And another thing, Maya Angelou is a 1st rate poet and a 1st rate human being!!!!
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