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CURRY: Dr. King 'Turning In His Grave' Over Family Greed

George E. Curry | 2/12/2014, 3 p.m.
Martin Luther King Jr. and Ralph Abernathy listen to speakers during a Southern Christian Leadership Conference meeting. The embattled civil rights organization is now led by King's daughter Bernice King. (Courtesy photo)

He noted the King estate had engaged Sotheby’s, the auction house, in 2006 to sell Dr. King’s personal papers.

“They were putting the papers on the auction block,” Johnson recounted. “Shirley Franklin [the former mayor of Atlanta] said, ‘We can’t have that’ and paid the King estate $32 million. Now, the King estate is coming back and saying, ‘Oh, we need $170 million for the King Center. I can even understand that. But what did you do with the $32 million? Is this going to be every time y’all need some money, you’re going to put your hands out to hold someone hostage? They are already charging people for the ‘I Have a Dream’ speech.”

In a statement, Bernice King said, “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.”

Bernice was correct when she said, “Our father MUST be turning in his grave.”

George E. Curry, former editor-in-chief of Emerge magazine, is editor-in-chief of the National Newspaper Publishers Association News Service (NNPA.) He is a keynote speaker, moderator, and media coach. Curry can be reached through his Web site, www.georgecurry.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @currygeorge and George E. Curry Fan Page on Facebook.

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