The words etched into the new Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C., were meant to leave a lasting impression on visitors. However, not everyone found that impression to be a good one.
In August, poet Maya Angelou spoke out against an inscription etched onto King’s memorial, saying that it made the civil rights leader appear egotistic.
Ed Jackson Jr., the executive architect on the memorial, told The Washington Post that he stands by the paraphrased line from King’s “drum major” sermon in 1968.
The original line from King’s speech reads: "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."
The paraphrased version, which appears on the memorial, reads: "I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness."