They’ve also received $32 million from MLK papers sold to the city of Atlanta. There have been several suits, too many to mention here, but at least one involved them suing each other. Bernice and Martin the III teamed up against Dexter over money from their mother’s book deal.
Before Mrs. King died, she sued Boston University to get them to give back papers and memorabilia Dr. King himself had donated to his alma mater.
The toughest ones though was King Inc. suing a TV anchorman in Mississippi for papers and photos his mom, Maude Ballou collected when she worked as a secretary for Dr. King at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. King Inc. said it owned those papers, but thankfully, the federal court ruled Mrs. Ballou’s son could keep the documents that included a handwritten letter to Mrs. Ballou from Rosa Parks.
A friend of mine went to see the Broadway play “Motown: The Musical,” and said it was obvious that the character depicting Dr. King didn’t use any language from the actual “I Have a Dream” speech.
Kinda sad. I wonder how many people will miss the opportunity to see and hear Dr. King’s works?
After Roland Martin reported on the story about the King Foundation, we joked about how far King Inc. would go with this. Will Bernice sue Dexter for looking and sounding too much like their father? Will Dexter in turn sue Martin Luther King III for using their father’s name? Will the three of them sue Don King, Regina King and Smoothie King?
In all seriousness, I would be the last person to suggest that the Kings or any other family stop making money. I just hope at some point they will take more of what their father taught, preached about and lived to heart. Handle your business but with dignity and class.