There is a new King family legal drama

Bernice King: “Our father MUST be turning in his grave”
File: Bernice King at the King Center, January 2013

Rebecca Burns

Martin Luther King Jr.’s children are no strangers to the Fulton County courthouse. Their legal dramas have been the subject of news stories for years.

In the latest wrangling, brothers Dexter and Martin filed a complaint on Friday, asking their younger sister, Bernice, to turn over MLK’s Nobel Peace Prize and his Bible, the AJC reports. According to Bernice King, the brothers informed her of this on the day the King holiday was being celebrated. This dubious timing is matched only by their decision to file a suit back in August, on the day the world was celebrating the anniversary of MLK’s “Dream” speech.

Bernice King claims that her siblings want to sell the items in question. In a statement issued this morning, she writes:

On January 20, as we observed my father’s 85th birthday and The King
Holiday, my brothers, Dexter Scott King and Martin Luther King, III,
notified me that they want to sell to a private buyer our father’s
most prized possessions, his Nobel Peace Prize Medal and his personal
Bible which was used by President Barak Obama as he was sworn in for
his second term in office and subsequently signed by him. I am
absolutely opposed to the selling of these extremely sacred items and
I expressed my opposition to my brothers. Although these items have
been under my care and custody for the past few years, they have
remained in a safe and secure location since my father’s
assassination, and my mother’s death in 2006. After I refused to
immediately transfer these items to another location at their request,
consequently on January 31 my brothers through The Estate of Martin L.
King, Jr., Inc filed a lawsuit {Civil Action No. 2014cv241929} to
force me to turn these items over for the express purpose of selling
them. In my opinion, there is no justification for selling either of
these sacred items. They are priceless and should never be exchanged
for money in the marketplace.

While I love my brothers dearly, this latest decision by them is
extremely troubling. Not only am I appalled and utterly ashamed, I
am frankly disappointed that they would even entertain the thought of
selling these precious items. It reveals a desperation beyond
comprehension. As Mark 8:36 teaches, “For what does it profit a man to
gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?” Our Father MUST be
turning in his grave.