MLK’s Family Wants To Stop Fighting Over Father’s Documents…For Now!

belafonte-and-mlkWe’ve reported in an earlier post that the siblings of Dr. King were embroiled in a bitter legal dispute over their father’s Nobel Peace Prize and Bible. (See Bernice King puts brothers on blast on plans to sell MLK Nobel Peace Prize medal and Bible)

For all of the work that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. did in trying to undo a sinful and unjust system of discrimination, segregation, and inequality, it’s a shame that his family and close friends are having so much drama over his processions.

With all of the accomplishments as well as advancements this country has made because of the heroic work of Dr. King, one can’t help but feel sorry about what has now transpired between the male members of the King Family and family friend, Harry Belafonte.

In the dispute over Dr. King’s documents, the estate of Martin Luther King, Jr. has moved to end it. “In an 18-page motion filed in New York federal court on Wednesday, lawyers for King’s estate asked U.S. District Judge Robert Sweet to enforce a confidential settlement agreement that the estate’s lawyers said was reached between Belafonte, the estate and King’s youngest daughter, Bernice King.”

As of February 4, Bernice King and Belafonte have failed to execute the written memorialization of the agreement.

According to Lisa Pearson, the attorney for the King estate, “These parties lack any colorable basis for their improper refusal to execute or abide by the agreement they entered, which has caused unreasonable and unnecessary delay and expense and warrants an award of the Estate’s related costs, fees and expenses pursuant to the court’s inherent powers.

In October, Belafonte sued the King estate claiming that he was the owner of King’s documents.

The documents included were an outline of King’s speech about the Casualties of the War in Vietnam, the Memphis speech, and a letter of condolence President Lyndon Johnson sent to Coretta Scott King after the death of her husband.

Because of the court’s ruling, Pearson is asking that Belafonte and Bernice King pay for costs and fees with the motion.


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