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4-1 Monuments as Cultural Works
(Out of the Mountain of Despair, A Stone of Hope)
Martin Luther King Jr’s memorial named Out of the Mountain of Despair, A Stone of Hope, was
built in 2011 in West Potomac Park at 1964 Independence Avenue, S.W., referencing the year
the Civil Rights Act Of 1964 became law. Martin Luther King Jr was a prominent leader in the
modern civil rights movement (1954-1964) in which black demonstrations swept the country
seeking constitutional equality as well as to put an end to Massive Resistance (state and local
government-supported opposition to school desegregation) The success of this movement
inspired other minorities to employ similar tactics. During this time, the King was arrested 29
times. (The Modern Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1964 - Civil Rights (U.S. National Park
Service) the original intention of this monument was what he stood for as well as a place to
contemplate MLK JRs legacy, a non-violent philosophy, striving for freedom, justice, and
equality. Each part of the monument is significant and symbolic with references from his famous
speech “I Have a Dream” throughout the entire monument. A quote from the King that stuck
with me from the reading is “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate
cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” (From Strength of Love, 1963) In the newspaper
resources, I went with the author Vince Gray who said, ‘what we hope is that those who are role
models in the lives of our children -especially their parents- will bring them down here and help
them understand the significance of these words and help them understand who this man was.” I
agree with him. My interpretation of the monument would be the King’s legacy lives on and you
can go there and reflect on the historic facts of what he stood for.
References: https://eds-s-ebscohost-com.ezproxy.snhu.edu/eds/detail/detail?
%20(R).The Modern Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1964 - Civil Rights (U.S. National Park
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