The U.S. Department of the Interior has decided to eliminate the controversial paraphrased quotation engraved on the north side of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C. In a statement released on Nov. 11, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar reversed the department’s previous position, agreeing to replace the inscription with the complete quote from King’s 1968 sermon.
King spoke the words in question in Atlanta two months before his assassination. Addressing the congregation at Ebenezer Baptist Church, he delivered a spin-off of Methodist preacher J. Wallace Hamilton’s 1952 homily “Drum-Major Instincts,” which criticizes the “desire to be out front, a desire to lead the parade.”
“Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice,” King said in his sermon. “Say that I was…
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