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Dr King’s Daughter Wants Nothing to do with Her Brothers


Dr King’s Daughter Wants Nothing to do with Her Brothers


By April Taylor

News recently broke of Martin Luther King’s sons, Dexter King and Martin Luther King III, wanting to sell King’s Nobel Peace Prize as well as his traveling Bible which was used by President Barack Obama at his swearing in ceremony.  The two have legal control of King’s estate and filed a complaint in Atlanta with Fulton County Superior Court in an attempt to force their sister, Bernice King, to turn the items over to them.

The complaint alleges that Bernice, as well as other heirs to King’s estate, agreed back in 1995 to forfeit their inheritance to any items contained within the estate. However, they claim that Bernice chose to retain possession of the Bible and the Nobel Peace Prize.  There is no mention in the complaint that the items will be sold once they are turned over, only that they be turned over to the rightful administrators of the estate.  This is not the first time the King siblings have found themselves embroiled in a legal battle over King’s estate or legacy, but it is the first time Bernice has stood alone against her brothers.

A press conference was held at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church where Martin Luther King Jr. once served as pastor.  A local Atlanta news station, 11 live, is reporting that during the press conference, Bernice stated that she believes that the selling of the items is a matter of principle and that she wishes to be disassociated from her brothers because of the difference of opinion.  Bernice also stated that the rift between the three is not a case of sibling rivalry but rather a difference regarding their spiritual relationships with God.  Bernice is also quoted as saying,

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“We have no right to sell our birthright.  If I were to allow the selling of my father’s belongings my conscious would haunt me for the rest of my life.  Our father must be turning over in his grave.”

It will be interesting to see how this plays out in court, but anyone with a conscience must realize that there are many more ways to profit from protecting the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. than what would be gained monetarily by selling such sacred items.

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  1. Marie

    February 10, 2014 at 1:26 am

    I believe when she says it’s not about money it’s about Christianity. Bernice seems to be sincere about the things of God whereas her siblings on the opposite, opposing her views on Gays and other issues. Go Bernice, stand your ground and pray; however, I pray that they don’t let this disagreement bring rivalry between them.

  2. Barbara Carter

    January 7, 2016 at 8:31 pm

    I agree with Bernice, those items should never be sold. They should be passed on to future generations. They should be kept in a safe place. If her brother’s can’t understand the depth of her convictions for her fathers personal items, then let distance be between them. Keep the items Bernice. Those are sacred items.

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