Family of Dr. King Charged Group Building His Monument

New York Times, April 17, 2009

The family of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has charged the foundation building a monument to him on the Mall about $800,000 for the use of his words and image, an arrangement one leading scholar said Dr. King would have found offensive.

The memorial, including a 28-foot sculpture depicting Dr. King, is being paid for almost entirely with private money in a fund-raising campaign led by the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation. {snip}

The foundation has been paying the King family for the use of Dr. King’s words and image in its fund-raising materials. The family has not charged for the use of his likeness in the monument.

David J. Garrow, a Cambridge University historian who won a Pulitzer Prize for his biography of Dr. King, said he did not know of any other descendants that had been paid such a fee.

“One would think any family would be so thrilled to have their forefather celebrated and memorialized in D.C. that it would never dawn on them to ask for a penny,” Mr. Garrow said, adding that Dr. King would have been “absolutely scandalized by the profiteering behavior of his children.”


In a statement to The A.P., Intellectual Properties said that the proceeds it receives go to the King Center in Atlanta and that the arrangement was made out of concern that fund-raising for the monument would undercut donations to the center.



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18 Responses to “Family of Dr. King Charged Group Building His Monument” Subscribe

  1. Detroit WASP August 26, 2011 at 6:59 pm #

    60 Minutes did a piece on the King Center a few years ago and determined that it’s main function was collecting donations.

    I don’t want to exagerate here but I THINK they said they didn’t do anything with the money they collected except keep it for themselves. 60 Minutes asked several organizations if they had ever gottend in funds from them and they all said “no”

    The King Center would not supply any records to 60 Minutes or even speak to them.

  2. Question Diversity August 26, 2011 at 7:02 pm #

    “One would think any family would be so thrilled to have their forefather celebrated and memorialized in D.C. that it would never dawn on them to ask for a penny,” Mr. Garrow said, adding that Dr. King would have been “absolutely scandalized by the profiteering behavior of his children.”

    But you’re thinking about a normal family. Most of the Kings want to cash in on Martin Luther King’s “legacy,” i.e. dopey white liberals willing to give an altar sacrifice to their civil rights demigod.

  3. Tom S. August 26, 2011 at 8:31 pm #

    *adding that Dr. King would have been “absolutely scandalized by the profiteering behavior of his children.”

    Yeah right, more like the acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree!

  4. Anonymous August 26, 2011 at 9:21 pm #

    I remember an excellent AR article debunking MLK. He was really Michael King, and he cheated his way to his “doctor” title.

    From that AR article: “King plagiarized one-third of his 343-page dissertation, the book-length project required to earn a PhD, leading some to say he should be stripped of his doctoral degree.”

  5. Bill R August 26, 2011 at 9:33 pm #

    The entire statue was funded from PRIVATE donations at the behest of a PRIVATE individual of the King family? What the HECK is it doing on the National Mall?????

    Can WE take up a private collection, have a statue carved of Nathan Bedford Forest and have THAT erected near the icon to the godless, marxist, womanizing, serial adulterer and drug and alcohol abusing plagiarizer MLK on the National Mall? Of course not.

    So why does the government let these feckless people – private individuals – put up a statue of this godless marxist icon of degeneracy there?

  6. Uniculturalist August 26, 2011 at 10:46 pm #

    Some folks have a knack for separating fools from their money. The foundation agreed to these asinine terms, so they have no one else to blame but themselves. They could have told MLK’s family to stuff it, yet chose not to do so.

    On the other hand, how many Americans pay money for caps, T-shirts and the like advertising a product, a sports team or whatever? Seems to me that if we’re going to do their marketing, then they should be paying us rather than the other way around.

  7. Anonymous August 26, 2011 at 11:06 pm #

    To the people that worship at the alter of white guilt, King made the temple on the mound speech. When the economy finally goes full tilt then and only then will the pragmatic decisions win out over false guilt. The day that a loaf of bread cost a wheelbarrow full of cash is the day we realize that the inheritance we need to protect for or kids is inside our skin and under our feet not made of paper.

  8. Cassiodorus August 26, 2011 at 11:40 pm #

    The King family has been milking Michael King’s “legacy” for every cent they can extort for many years. Recall, for instance, their demands regarding the Library of Congress’ prospective acquisition of King papers, a demand so extravagant it finally squelched the deal. Beats getting a job, I suppose.

  9. madison grant August 27, 2011 at 3:35 am #

    $800,000 paid for the right to quote from plagiarized speeches!

    It’s as if a rapper sampled a James Brown song and then demanded royalty payments every time the radio played the original JB tune.

  10. Michael C. Scott August 27, 2011 at 12:53 pm #

    As busy as MLK’s descendants are suing each other, the lawyers will get this $800K as well.

  11. Anonymous August 27, 2011 at 1:53 pm #

    It is insane the amount of MLK statues this country has. I wouldn’t be surprised at this point if someone told me that the number of MLK statues/memorials surpassed that of all the presidential equivalents combined.

    To pay more than even one penny for an MLK statue is like paying for the sand on the beach – why pay for something that’s a dime a dozen?

  12. (AWG) Average White Guy August 28, 2011 at 1:14 am #

    My intention was to write something about content of character, but I fear I may get a bill.

  13. bonnie blue August 28, 2011 at 11:41 pm #

    Wonder how much of that money will wind up spent on lottery tickets here in Atlanta. It sure won’t go towards the King Memorial. The place is always in shambles. Let ’em have the money… “a fool and his money soon part”… This goes for the white fools that wanted to put up this statue as well as the King family. They are pretty much a local joke here in Atlanta.

  14. SKIP August 29, 2011 at 2:11 am #

    ” the proceeds it receives go to the King Center in Atlanta”

    And we all KNOW what’s (wazzup) with that!

  15. Brown-Eyed Devil August 29, 2011 at 3:43 am #

    Precisely, R9. And quite frankly, that “foundation”, or whatever the hell you wish to call exactly what it deserved. I guess the ends justify the means-the effect this statue will have on the viewing public must be worth the money to them or they would have found some way to get around the family’s demands.

    How do they intend to keep the thing upright on it’s feet of clay?

    What a sick, sad, sorry joke.

  16. Nick August 29, 2011 at 4:20 pm #

    Did everyone see MLK’s daughter’s speech at the monument?

    She talked about Lincoln signing the Declaration of Independence.

    It is at

  17. Anonymous August 29, 2011 at 6:26 pm #

    This just in, the NFL donates $1 million to the MLK memorial.

  18. Uniculturalist August 31, 2011 at 6:11 pm #

    #17: One more good reason to boycott the NFL (beside the fact that modern pro football is a total waste of time)!