A Legacy for Sale



This past week's Sunday Paper carried the cover story of Atlanta's most precious legacy going up for auction. Only months after the death of Corretta Scott King, Dexter and family have put the personal papers of Atlanta's most famous son on the auction block at Sotheby's in New York. In the 1990s, Mrs. King unsuccessfully sued Boston University in an effort to have returned thousands of documents her husband had deposited there for safekeeping in the last two years of his life.

The King family has attached a condition to the sale that the collection of papers will never be sold individually until "the death of the last to die of the four children of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr."

The group of papers includes more than 7,000 handwritten notes about everything from President Lincoln, to Ghandi, to interacting with everyday life. It also includes a telegram from Muhammed Ali he received while in jail and a letter from President Nixon he received while in the hospital after an attack.

Just yesterday it was announced that SunTrust Banks, urged on by Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin, agreed to provide a $32 million loan that will allow Morehouse College to retain title to the collection. Among the guarantors of the loan and donors are listed playwright and film director and fellow Atlian Tyler Perry, Turner Broadcasting System, Coca-Cola, and Home Depot. Others also pledged $1 million or more including Arkansas-based WalMart.

But I am left to question, why would his family sell his part of his legacy to the highest bidder, when you have his alma mater, Morehouse and the King Center right here in Atlanta??

8 comments:

Virginia Slim said...

I thought it was in Coretta's will that the papers be auctioned.

Anonymous said...

mayor franklin and bernince king were on v103 this morning talking about it... bernice went on and on about how she wanted the papers to stay in atlanta... but yet her family decided to place them for auction to the highest bidder.

kool said...

it's all about the $$$$$

The Captain said...

It's not like it is a national treasure....

4GOTTEN1 said...

It understandable to me they can get a decent amount of money for the Collections and to them it doesn't hurt there fathers legacy because they remember him differently than the rest of the world.

ReddMann said...

it isnt about it being a national treasure it is about them selling the legacy for millions of dollars and then getting in the national media proclaiming about how it is such a blessing for the papers to be in Atlanta... if they truly felt like that they should have given the papers to the King Center or Morehouse.

Clay said...

this is sad - i think they missed the point of Dr. King's legacy

The Captain said...

I feel that Dr. King contribution was significant. However, this is something less worthy to be preserved.