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Report: King Family Disgraces Legacy and Profited From MLK Memorial For Nearly $800,000

Report: King Family Disgraces Legacy and Profited From MLK Memorial For Nearly $800,000

Why are we feeling quite deceived right about now? Could it be true that the new Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial at the National Mall was just a money making mechanism to continue to milk the life out of  the King legacy?

Alright, before we go any further and really get beside ourselves, let’s take a look at the facts that were found. The Root’s Charles E. Cobb Jr. has expressed his feelings and finding about the subject. Charles E. Cobb Jr. was a field organizer in the 1960s for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.

The builders of the new had to pay $761,160 for the right to use King’s words and images, according to financial documents obtained by the Associated Press. The money went to Intellectual Properties Management Inc. — a foundation controlled by King’s youngest son, Dexter. Another $71,000 was paid out in a “management fee” to the family estate back in 2003.

So, the builders whom would create this monument that Americans all over the country have been waiting for, have paid nearly $1 million dollars just to use his words and image. Wow! Did anyone even know images and words pay so much?

Charles E. Cobbs, Jr. says this is extortion on the King family’s part and Rev. Martin Luther King “himself would be “absolutely scandalized” by this kind of pimping of his life and work. “

“The use of King in a celebratory, nonprofit manner as we see on the Mall? There is perhaps some gray area in the use of his image — for example, the minting of King “silver” dollars that we see advertised for sale on late-night television. But the memorial hardly falls into this category.’

We would think King’s memory and work would never equal to mere dollars and cents to pay the lifestyles of the descendants of America’s non violent civil rights leader who changed history forever. Mr. Cobb’s explained some of the fees and funding paid while the memorial was in process.

When work on the monument began in 2009, Intellectual Properties Management explained its fee as compensation for contributions to the King Center in Atlanta that might be lost in the fundraising process for the monument: “Many individuals believe all King fundraising initiatives are interrelated and don’t donate to the King Center, thinking they have already supported it by donating to the memorial.”

Hmm… interesting.

Although the National Park Service said that, to its knowledge, no one had ever before charged such a fee, Harry E. Johnson Sr., president and CEO of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, said the fees were not a burden (out of $120 million raised) and that the foundation has a good relationship with the King family.

Very interesting. Johnson stated they weren’t burden with the fee charged out of $120 million raised. The fact of the matter is: the National Park Service have never been charged a fee as such, but they were willing and able to do this “for the people”, so they say.

Let us put our tidbit in here for a moment. Does anyone remember how blacks were extremely upset to know a Asian artist and sculptor would be creating the actual image? Well, thefamily back then stated it didn’t matter who created it because Dr. King was for all people. Can we now say that was the real reason? Perhaps, when the MLK Jr. National Project Foundation had to pay a fee of nearly $800,000, they stipulated whom would be the artist and not the the King family. Sounds about right.

The writer Cobbs reminded us how the King children have found several opportunities to make money off their father’s name, words, etc.

He stated in the 1990s, the King children sued USA Today and CBS News for broadcasting their father’s “I Have a Dream Speech” without payment and they won in court.

Also, in 1999 the Library of Congress were to purchase King’s papers for $20 million; King’s family demanded that they retain copyright control, and the library had to reject that requirement.  When King’s nephew Isaac Newton Farris was CEO of the King Center, he demanded payment from a small company that put King and President Obama together on a T-shirt. Farris is now the president of King’s old organization, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

As you can see, the King Family have ceased every opportunity to ‘cash in’ on Dr. King’s image for years. But let us not forget:  all of the greed has possibly took their minds off the real reason to protect Dr. King’s work and image when they began fighting amongst themselves.

In July 2008, Martin Luther King III and Bernice King filed a lawsuit against Dexter King, accusing him of improperly taking money from the estate of their late mother and transferring it to the Estate of Martin Luther King Jr. Inc., of which Dexter serves as president. It was settled out of court in October 2009.

It became a shame and a total disgrace when we started hearing the children fight over estate monies. It’s almost as if they they are blessed with a curse, as they turned their father’s memory into a mere commercialized dividend.

Another bit of greed that took over the decency of his image and honor was the huge court battle involving a $1.4 million book deal for Coretta Scott King’s ghostwritten memoir, during which Dexter went to court to compel his siblings to turn over personal papers and photos for the book. Bernice and Martin King III resisted and said their mother no longer wanted her book to be ghostwritten before she died. During a Wall Street Journal investigation, the paper found Dexter King had been receiving $165,000 a year in pay that apparently was unknown to the other siblings and associates.

So why did the foundation that built the memorial have to pay so much money? Its pretty obvious at this point but- “what is it for a man to profit the world and lose his soul”.  Enough said.