August 24th, 2011

MLK Gets Home on National Mall

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On the 48th anniversary of the “I Have a Dream” speech, a towering memorial will honor the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. as a man of peace among the many monuments to wars and presidents in the nation’s capital. The road to this weekend’s dedication, however, has run through hurdles of all kinds — not unlike the long struggle over King’s legacy itself.

Since King’s death, there have been financial worries at the King Center in Atlanta, and legal fights over the use of his image and words and over control of the civil rights organization he co-founded.

Many people wanted to help shape King’s bricks-and-mortar legacy as well, the first memorial for a black leader on the National Mall. There were skirmishes over who would sculpt King’s likeness, where the granite would come from and who would profit from the mammoth $120 million fundraising effort as the family demanded a licensing fee to support its Atlanta priorities.

Overall costs for the memorial rose over time, and the government demanded tougher security amid threats of domestic terrorism, dragging the project 15 years from the time Congress authorized it in 1996 and 27 years from when King’s fraternity first proposed it.

View the entire article here.

About the Author

Socialtik Mag
Socialtik Mag is a progressive platform for young, aspiring professionals to express our views on the issues and ideas in the world around us. It’s the Gen-Y perspective of life in the new decade. In addition to the original content we produce, we post from sites around the internet to keep our peers aware of what’s positive, what’s fresh, and most importantly, what’s progressive.


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