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. And all of the other shallow things will not matter. I won’t have any money to leave behind. I won’t have the fine and luxurious things of life to leave behind. But I just want to leave a committed life behind.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) American clergyman, civil rights leader, social activist, preacher
Sermon, Ebenezer Baptist Church (4 Feb 1968)

Full text. Adaptation by King of the 1952 homily "Drum-Major Instincts" by J. Wallace Hamilton. Paraphrased on the MLK memorial in Washington, DC, as, "I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness"; the inscription was later removed.

Added on 3-Sep-11 | Last updated 7-Dec-15
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