King's Children: Quarreling Siblings

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Robbie Brown,"Dr. King's Children Battling Over Book," NYT, 13 October, and Brian Feagans,"Auditor to help Kings catalog MLK love letters," AJC, 14 October, bring you up to date on the struggle between Dexter King, on the one hand, and his surviving siblings, Martin and Bernice, on the other, for control of the Martin Luther King estate. This is the third lawsuit that they have recently filed against each other.

The Martin Luther King Papers Project would have an interest in the papers that are being withheld by Bernice (a suitcase of letters, now scattered over a hundred boxes?). Coretta maintained that correspondence between her husband and herself was part of the Coretta Scott, not the Martin Luther, King Papers, but that didn't keep her from asking thousands of other people to share their privately owned documents with the MLK Papers Project. I would know, because I drafted those letters for her to sign. I have long believed that the editor of the King Papers, Clayborne Carson, ought to examine early federal grant applications that were signed by Coretta for her commitment to make all MLK-related documents available to the Project. The city of Atlanta, which recently paid $32 million for a major collection of the MLK Papers, ought also complain about what the family withheld from it, but it is unlikely that it will.

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