Angelou says quote in MLK Memorial out of context

August 31, 2011 - 10:55 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Poet Maya Angelou says the way a quote from Martin Luther King Jr. was paraphrased on his new memorial in Washington makes the civil rights leader sound like an "arrogant twit."

Angelou, who consulted on the memorial, told The Washington Post (http://wapo.st/o74pLU) that the shortened version sounds egotistical and should be changed.

The phrase is from a speech shortly before King's assassination in 1968 in which he talked about how people should remember him.

In the original, King starts by saying, "Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice," then adds similar language about peace and righteousness.

All that is condensed on King's memorial statue as "I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness."