U.S. Congressman Davis confirms King's Monument Dedication on 10/16/11

“Dr. King has no peers during our lifetime relative to the impact he has on improving conditions for large numbers of people with African Americans being at the top of the list.” – U.S. Congressman Danny Davis (D-7)

Date falls on 16th anniversary of the MMM


By Chinta Strausberg

Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-7th) Monday confirmed that the date for the official dedication of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, representing a “Stone of Hope” and sits forward from the “Mountain of Despair,” has been changed to Sunday, October 16th in Washington, D.C. on the historic National Mall which ironically falls on the 16th anniversary of the Million Man March (MMM).

Originally scheduled for August 28, 2011, the 48th anniversary of Dr. King’s “I have a Dream” speech he gave  at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, it was Hurricane Irene that changed that much awaited event. Ironically, it was in Washington where 48-years ago King spoke there as part of his March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom campaign.

Decades later,  King’s 30-foot memorial boldly stands not only for King’s paying the ultimate price, his life, but it will forever be a reminder of  his struggle for the poor, his legacy and King’s unfinished agenda of achieving economic and social justice for all Americans. 

The “Stone of Hope,” taken from a line in his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, is located near two pieces of granite symbolizing “The Mountain of Despair” which is a visible story of the civil rights movement as lead by a man who has for ever changed this nation. Dr. King was the ultimate social change agent whose broken pieces are still being gathered and pieced together by his followers.

The monument overlooks the Tidal Basin located between the Lincoln Memorial, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial on the historic National Mall.

The monument represents a “Stone of Hope” and sits forward from a “Mountain of Despair.” Visitors will pass through the “Mountain of Despair” and proceed to the “Stone of Hope” where they can read 14 of Dr. King’s most famous quotes.

With Mary McLeod Bethune, who founded the National Council of Negro Women, being the first African American to be honored by a statute, located in Lincoln Park, Dr. King’s monument is the first to be erected in the National Mall to represent an African American.

“No one could be more proud than Rep. Davis who when contacted, said, “I am a proud member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, and I think it is one of the most significant things that we have done lately that stands out as a single activity.”

Davis was referring to the monument that was built by the Alpha Phi Alpha that raised $100 million to build the monument.

“Of course, Dr. Martin Luther King has no peers during our life time relative to the impact he has on improving conditions for large numbers of people with African Americans being at the top of the list,” said Davis.

“I am proud of the brotherhood. I am pleased that we were visionaries enough to tackle such a project, and it’s a great accomplishment,” he said

Referring to the King monument, Davis added: “It does not mean that our problems are solved, that our issues have been met and dealt with sufficiently, but it does mean a continuation of hope, of possibilities and it will forever be a part of our African history.”

According to the Wikipedia, the following is the transcript of the 14 quotes of Dr. King that are written on the “Inscription Wall” of the Dr. King Memorial:

The selection of quotes was announced at a special event at the National Museum on February 9, 2007 (at the same time the identity of the sculptor was revealed).[50] The fourteen quotes on the Inscription Wall are:[44]

“We shall overcome because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” (16 August 1967, Atlanta, GA)

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” (1963, Strength to Love)

“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.” (10 December 1964, Oslo, Norway).

“Make a career of humanity. Commit yourself to the noble struggle for equal rights. You will make a greater person of yourself, a greater nation of your country, and a finer world to live in.” (18 April 1959, Washington, DC)

“I oppose the war in Vietnam because I love America. I speak out against it not in anger but with anxiety and sorrow in my heart, and above all with a passionate desire to see our beloved country stand as a moral example of the world.” (25 February 1967, Los Angeles, CA)

“If we are to have peace on earth, our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation; and this means we must develop a world perspective.” (24 December 1967, Atlanta, GA)

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” (16 April 1963, Birmingham, AL)

“I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits.” (10 December 1964, Oslo, Norway)

“It is not enough to say “We must not wage war.” It is necessary to love peace and sacrifice for it. We must concentrate not merely on the negative expulsion of war, but on the positive affirmation of peace.” (24 December 1967, Atlanta, GA)

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” (25 February 1967, Los Angeles, CA)

“Every nation must now develop an overriding loyalty to mankind as a whole in order to preserve the best in their individual societies.” (4 April 1967, Riverside Church, New York, NY)

“We are determined here in Montgomery to work and fight until justice runs “down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream.” (5 December 1955, Montgomery, AL)

“We must come to see that the end we seek is a society at peace with itself, a society that can live with its conscience.” (16 April 1963, Birmingham, AL)

“True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice.” (16 April 1963, Birmingham, AL)

Some of King’s words reflected in these quotations are based on other sources, including the Bible, and in one case—”the arc of the moral universe” quote—upon the words of Theodore Parker, an abolitionist and Unitarian minister, who died shortly before the beginning of the Civil War.[51]

Chinta Strausberg is a Journalist of more than 33-years, a former political reporter and a current PCC Network talk show host.