Martin Luther King memorial unveiled

September 1 2011

Image of Martin Luther King memorial unveiled

Picture: Jacquelyn Martin/AP

A new memorial to Martin Luther King has been opened in Washington amid some controversy. The sculpture bears an inscription, saying:

'I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness.'

The only problem is, King never actually said that. It is a paraphrase of some remarks he once said when discussing his potential legacy. He said:

"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."

What was wrong with 'I have a dream'?

The sculpture is by the Chinese artist, Lei Yixin. I like it (see more photos here). But in its confrontational enormity, not to mention the solid trousers and jacket, it is eerily reminiscent of the portraits of Mao Tse Tung Yixin used to sculpt.

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