The fraternity brothers of the great Martin Luther King, Jr. have finally reached their goal of erecting a monument in honor of this unforgettable Civil Rights leader. It took Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. ten persistent and dedicated years to petition and procure funds in order to have King stand on the National Mall in Washington D.C. between the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials. This summer, the monument called the Stone of Hope will be complete. The Dallas Examiner shares:
“The centerpiece of the memorial, the Stone of Hope, features a 30-foot likeness of King made of natural elements, surrouned by water, stone, and trees. It contains excerpts of his sermons and public addresses to serve as living testaments of his vision of America. There are 24 inches along the upper walk that pay tribute to individuals and groups that gave their lives during the Civil Rights Movement, [and] Several have been left blank to allow future dedications.”
Alpha Phi Alpha was granted a resolution in 1996 to have the monument built in D.C. on the National Mall. On November 13, 2006, they held the ground breaking. Alpha Phi Alpha was not working towards their goal alone. In addition to donations from the general public, General Motors stepped in to round of the final costs of the memorial. The Dallas Examiner reports, “General Motors and its foundation donated over $10 million to finalize the memorial.” General Motors’ chairman and CEO Dan Akerson said, “We admire and respect Dr. King’s eternal legacy and all that he represents…This is an important moment in our nation’s history and we hope this memorial will inspire others to turn their own dreams into action.”
King’s memorial will be located where he delivered his I Have a Dream speech on August 28, 1963, during the March on Washington. The dedication of the Stone of Hope will take place on August 28, 2011. For more information on how you can support this memorial, you can visit http://www.buildthedream.org.
Ayvaunn Penn is a spoken word artist and an award winning writer completing her degree in English and philosophy. For more of her witty-word works click here. To have your original poetry featured by Ms. Penn on Your Black Poets, click here.