MLK Memorial architect says inscription will stay

September 3, 2011 - 12:35 PM
King Memorial Angelou

An inscription is seen on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, in this photo taken Monday, Aug. 22, 2011. Poet and author Maya Angelou is taking issue with a paraphrased quotation from Martin Luther King Jr. inscribed in his new memorial in Washington, saying the shortened version makes the civil rights leader sound like an arrogant twit because it's out of context. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The executive architect of the new Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington says an inscription on the monument won't be changed, despite criticism from poet Maya Angelou that it makes King sound arrogant.

Ed Jackson Jr. tells The Washington Post (http://wapo.st/pY9voR ) he stands by the paraphrased line from King's "drum major" sermon in 1968.

King said, "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 shortened version reads: "I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness."

Jackson says the line has historical perspective and allows King to define himself. He says there is no way it can be altered.