Martin Luther King Memorial Analysis

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Does the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Successfully Honor Dr. King and His Values? Dr. Martin Luther King Jr had a dream - a dream that one day all men, women, and children will be treated equally, regardless of color, race, ethnicity, or economic background. The Martin Luther King Jr Memorial was made in order to commemorate Dr. King and his legacy in rising up and fighting for the civil rights movement in the United States, although it has been plagued with some construction and design flaws. In spite of the issues of the background and presentation of the monument, the success of the memorial in honoring Dr. King and his values can be identified using the memorial itself, comments from Park Ranger John McCaskill, an academic seminar…show more content…
King’s basic moral views and values. These issues surrounding the monument don’t go against the primary purpose of commemorating Dr. King’s movement for justice, but they do present some flaws in the background of the memorial in regards to Dr. King. Miller brings to attention the fact that the memorial was constructed by Chinese slave laborers and how Dr. King advocated for rights of minorities and was a proponent against slavery in his fight for labor and economic equality. Miller also argues that the building of the memorial was funded by a number of corporate interests who then used Dr. King’s image to promote themselves. These corporate interests then subdued Dr. King’s radical economic views against the corporate world and directed the focus to justice and civil rights. Miller says that these issues in the design and construction of the MLK Jr memorial goes against what Dr. King fought for, and this detracts from the monument itself, because it’s not the way Dr. King would have wanted himself to be portrayed. Although there are many construction issues surrounding the MLK Jr memorial, the memorial does a good job of evoking certain affection regarding civil rights which is the main…show more content…
Bruyneel states that the MLK Jr memorial paints Dr. King in a light regarding him as a haloed figure and that “King stands as a figure of consensus deployed to ‘impersonate’ the idea that the U.S. is now a post-racial society in which collective and structural concerns about racial equality have been displaced” (Bruyneel 76). Bruyneel argues that Dr. King was much more radical and liberal than the way his conservative monument represents him by leaving out controversial economic views and beliefs. Furthermore, he says that Dr. King’s image has been distorted in order to fit the interests of the US government and corporate interests. This notion is partially true, because of the corporate funding of the memorial and radical views that Dr. King held; however this memorial’s true purpose is to represent the civil rights struggle in which MLK Jr engaged in and fought so hard for. Also, the statue of Dr. King portrays him as a is seen as a stiff and tense figure, but it captures him in a light which represents the civil rights movement which was a tense time for him and all minorities. The statue is a candid representation of the emotions surrounding the 1960’s civil rights movement, and it’s a symbol for how the fight for justice was an uneasy
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