Martin Luther King Family Feud over Sale of ‘Sacred’ Nobel Peace Medal

Peter Foster, Telegraph, January 12, 2015

A bitter family feud between the surviving children of Martin Luther King Jr is to reach court in the US on Tuesday when a judge will rule over the ownership of the civil rights leader’s travelling bible and 1964 Nobel Peace Prize medal.

The two items, which are estimated to worth up to $10m [£6m], are at the centre of a long-running dispute between Dr King’s daughter, Bernice, and his two sons, Martin Luther King III and Dexter Scott King, who reportedly want to put them up for private sale.

The medal and the travelling bible, which was last seen in public in January 2013 when it was used to swear in President Barack Obama for his second term in office, are considered among two of the most important and valuable artefacts from the 1960s civil rights movement.

Last year, Bernice King, a pastor who still preaches at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where her father and grandfather preached, was forced to hand over the bible and medal into the custody of a court in Atlanta pending the resolution of the suit.

Ms King, who says she inherited the bible and medal from her late mother, Coretta Scott King, said she was “appalled and utterly ashamed” at her brothers’ desire to sell items that she considered “sacred” to their father’s memory.

“These items should never be sold to any person, as I say it, or any institution, because they’re sacred,” she said when giving an emotional statement in February last year. “I take this strong position for my father because Daddy is not here to say himself: ‘My Bible and medals are never to be sold.'”

On Tuesday, a judge will decide whether the items should be handed over to the brothers, who control the Martin Luther King Jr estate, or whether the case should go to a full trial.

The legal dispute goes back to January 2014 when the board of the King estate–of which Bernice is a member–voted to order her to hand over the bible and medal. When she refused, the two brothers sued. The estate’s lawyers have not responded to requests for comment.

Experts said the market value of such unique items was difficult to gauge, but could increase significantly if they were put up for sale privately.

Two separate appraisers, Leila Dunbar and Clive Howe, told the Associated Press they would expect the Bible to sell for between $200,000 and $1m, with the medal fetching between $5m and $10m, and possibly more, given Dr King’s place in history.

King won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 after helping lead the bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama, which transformed him into a nationally recognised civil rights leader. The following year he organised the march from Selma to Montgomery, which is depicted in the recently released film Selma. Steven Spielberg is also producing a new biopic of King.

This is not the first time the estate has considered selling King’s property. In 2006, the estate aimed to auction his personal papers for as much as $30 million, but a group of philanthropists and business leaders stepped in, buying the documents for an undisclosed sum and donating them to King’s alma mater, Morehouse College in Atlanta.

Bernice King and Martin Luther King III had previously sued their brother, Dexter King, contending that he had improperly taken money from the estate of their late mother, Coretta Scott King, and transferred it to his own company. That lawsuit was quietly settled before trial.

Yolanda King, the eldest of Dr King’s children, who was often seen as a peacemaker among the children, collapsed and died suddenly in May 2007 at the age of 51.


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  • The sad thing here is this Bible and medal are worth so much because someone would be willing to pay so much money for them. The offending element here is the high esteem that too many people give to Martin Luther King and his “legacy.”

    • Oil Can Harry

      King’s Bible was said to be in excellent condition after all these years.

      No surprise since it had never been opened.

      • Samuel Hathaway

        Listen, you have done untold violence to the legacy of Doctah King. He actually AUTHORED that Bible. Don’t you know nuffin’?

        • Laura Dilworth

          He died for your sins

          • Speedy Steve

            Michael King was 5’3″ tall. He looks much larger in the gutter press.

          • Laura Dilworth

            Didn’t know

          • “Bless me father, for I have sinned.”

            King: “What is the nature of your sin?”

            “I stole a bicycle 40 years ago and it has bothered me ever since.”

            King: “Say three ‘Hail Marys’ and beat up a hooker.”

        • Some Guy

          Didn’t you see his speech on MLK day? He looked like he gained weight. Watch this video.

      • Sam

        Still in the plastic wrapper?

    • Samuel Hathaway

      MLK has blossomed into a sick, coercive cult with any criticism being grounds for being publicly humilitated, fired from your job, or associated at the least, with those who support gas chambers.

      • WoodyBBad

        On MLK day this past Monday, I posted a comment on a story in the local news about a march that was held. “I also share King’s dream of people being judged on their character, not their color. End affirmative action.” I was called a bully! Equality for me, but not for thee.

      • Speedy Steve

        There’s big money to be made building FEMA camps out of toxic chemical waste.

    • MG Huffman

      And the really sad thing here is that we have to go to a British newspaper to read about all of this.

      • Jesse_from_Sweden

        Is that really a sad thng?

        Honestly, I think it’s more of a sad thing that this is in any newspaper at all….
        Talk about not newsworthy, whatever these offspring to someone who was famous are squabbling about.

    • If the medal could be made to shine, it would look quite stylish if worn with a purple or orange shirt adorned with sequins.

      • Tim

        I went to a Voodoo exibit at some NY museum. I learned that the country of Haiti consumes 60% of the world`s sequin production. Watch the movie Major League and see where the Voodoo ball player opens his locker. It`s covered in them!! I told my wife, “Some one did his homework…”

  • superlloyd

    The chilruns of negro families that are lucky enough to have some capital always fight over the inheritance as if it were the last chicken bone.

    • How much money do those two oafs actually think they need?

      • phillyguy

        They want enough money to buy new cars, expensive jewelry and the like, just put it this way ,it will be good for the economy , it will be spent in a year and a half,,,but before they sell anything I want to buy some public stock in Popeyes Chicken.

        • Samuel Hathaway

          A mulatto supervisor in a different dept. where I work drives a cherry red Corvette on the weekends and arrives at the office with the top down. He also flies to New York City for one or two day shopping trips. Yes, shopping trips, I said. Color me ignorant, but I didn’t know that people actually flew out of Atlanta, GA to fly to NY just to shop and come back as though they just went to the grocery store a mile away.

          This supervisor is also a semi-literate. He writes “do to the fact that”, rather than “due” to start the statement. His handwriting looks like a third-graders. He takes it as a compliment that he looks like Obama.

          • Fly from Atlanta to NYC for shopping? Why not just order the stuff online?

          • WoodyBBad

            It’s not consumed as conspicuously that way.

          • Speedy Steve

            The computer keyboard has too many moving parts. That’s why the tawnies shoutz out on deyz sail foams.

          • withcaution

            How does he hold onto his position? Government work or affirmative-action position?

      • Speedy Steve

        Enough to purchase a lifetime supply of VSOP cognac, Cristal champagne, Air Jordans, Rent-Rims for the Escalade, crack cocaine, bond money, lawyer fees. etc. Oh, my bad. They’ll be on welfare, and living in Rosa Parks’ old Detroilet project in a few short months.

    • Caucasoid88

      Perfect analogy.

    • Samuel Hathaway

      Superfloyd… now, now…you got me rolling in the floor laughing over the chicken bone part… but, yeah, blacks I work with always talking about how to get more $$$… win the lottery, look for government programs for blacks, support candidates that will loot from wealthier taxpayers… wouldn’t surprise me of they were involved in prostitution to get a little extra cash.

  • Oil Can Harry

    If the money-grubbing King kids could get away with it they’d sell their Dad’s corpse to a necrophiliac.

  • Easyrhino

    Any of the King family hold actual jobs or are they just milking his estate selling licensing copyrights?

    • Laura Dilworth

      Bernice is a pastor

      • WoodyBBad

        So, no, then?

        • Laura Dilworth

          Ha! Will investigate

  • dd121

    Melt it down to make bullets for black looters.

    • Tim

      I was thinking myself about making Luger ammo. Funny that…

      • Lugars will use standard 9mm ammo but it can jam. Still it’s usable if you don’t need to fire many shots quickly.

  • Red

    I used to hear a talk radio host in Atlanta consistently refer to MLK’s wife as Coretta Scott KaChing$.

    I always laughed whenever I heard it. Their children aren’t any different.

    • TruthBeTold

      The Martin Luther KaChing family. I like it.

      • Speedy Steve

        Marxist Lucifer KaChing!

  • walt

    Just about any white family would happily DONATE the items to a museum as a point of PRIDE.

    • My first thought exactly.

      • phillyguy

        maybe some leftist corporate elitist will buy Martin Luther King’s underwear for 5 million dollars and donate it to al Sharpton.

        • Samuel Hathaway

          Too late for that Phillyguy… the maggots have already eaten holes in Martin Luther Kings underwear.

        • Georgia Boy

          They will end up in the Smithsonian eventually. Some YKW one percenter on Wall Street will buy and donate them. It’s mostly just an argument over how big a payoff the King family will get in the process.

    • Speedy Steve

      Uh huh. Read up on the failed Slavery Museum in Frederickburg.
      Many Africans donated family heirlooms such as shackles and manacles only to have them vanish into thin air.

      • I remember a “60 Minutes” bit from about 20 years ago that covered the disappearance of valuable items from the Smithsonian Institution. Apparently the “vibrant”, “diverse” employees there were stealing that stuff to re-sell.

    • Reynardine

      I see your negress in a bathtub full of cereal, and raise you a negro pooping on stage during a rap battle:

  • Caucasoid88

    A normal family wouldn’t sell anything.

    • IstvanIN

      Not necessarily, they might donate it to a museum.

  • Alexandra1973

    What Baptist church permits women preachers?

    • Samuel Hathaway

      A snarky, 400-pound tubby black woman who works in another dept. in my building is a preacher. Not sure if she’s Baptist, but she’s a preacher. or so she says she is.

    • HE2

      Apparently, many, Alex. A Google search revealed that the Southern Baptist church allows ordination of women as pastors.
      Not sure if that applies to the charismatic, fringe offshoots.

      • Alexandra1973

        I attend an independent, fundamental Baptist church myself.

  • Speedy Steve

    And in other negro news from Washington DC; the late mayor’s son chimps out in a bank when told he can’t withdraw money from his overdrawn account. www[dot] washingtontimes[dot]com/news/2015/jan/21/marion-barrys-son-pleads-not-guilty-bank-dustup/
    He din do nuffins

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    Ha! They want to sell the medal to the highest bidder.

    That kind of $$ will buy a lot of drugs, high-end vacations and bling.

    Every January, millions of school kids are forced to do reports on The Dreamer, who is now the only American to have his own holiday, having been granted greater status than America’s founders. These reports continue through February’s ‘Black History’ month.

    The truth is pretty sordid, though, and millions of young people can now find out just how much they’ve been lied to. And if they know they’ve been lied to about that subject, what else?

    The King Family has tried to claim a trademark on the name in order to shut down our site, but the courts have held that they can’t have it both ways. If Martin is now a national treasure, his name can’t be privately trademarked. They’ve also threatened to sue us for defamation. Problem there is…everything on the site is true, and truth is still a pretty solid defense under U.S. law.

    So every year the protectors of the New Orthodoxy bay at the moon.

    Dissing the King – Salon com

    http //www martinlutherking org/

    • Rurik

      If they put a trademark on the name, might that not make it more difficult to use it for public ritual purposes?

  • Luca

    They’ll end up at “Roscoe’s Pawn Shop” in downtown Atlanta.

  • MBlanc46

    What do you expect from a family of liars and cheats?

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    Forget it – just make every day a celebration of White heritage, culture, achievement and tradition.

    We have a lot to be proud of, despite Cultural Marxists claiming we either don’t exist as a race or are nothing more than slavers and genocidal colonists beyond redemption.

    Those beyond redemption are easy to destroy.

    We are well worth saving, but we’re going to have to fight for the right to exist. Yes, it will come to that.

    • Georgia Boy

      “Steven Spielberg is also producing a new biopic of King.”

      Oh, OK. Now we know the real reason for the lack of Oscars for Selma!

  • Americaandthewestshouldbewhite

    MLK’s legacy is the ghettoo culture that blacks follow and the crimes they commit.

  • Bill Moore


    Perhaps some billionaire will buy them and store them in a bottle of urine.

    Bill Moore

  • Of course anyone with a lick of foresight can see where this will end up: the lawyers will eventually have all the family’s money, and at that point they’ll have to stop suing each other.

  • KenelmDigby

    They are fighting like ferrets in a sack – to quote an old English saying.

  • Harry

    “I take this strong position for my father because Daddy is not here to say himself: ‘My Bible and medals are never to be sold.’”
    (ha ha) Who the F are you trying to kid? For $10M MLK would have set a new land speed record running to Sotheby’s or to the house of whatever fool would pay that kind of money. Lady: Your old man was as phony as the day is long.

  • RationaliseThis

    That Nobel medal has been awarded to a long and consistant line of nasty jerks.

    • Theodore Roosevelt was awarded one, but that was for organizing the Treaty of Portsmouth, which ended the 1904-05 Russo-Japanese War. The war had to stop at that point. Japan was broke and out of army reserves. Russia’s navy had been sunk, they were trying to supply and reinforce an army across 5700 miles of single-track railway, and they were also having a revolution. That one just needed to end. I suspect that it was the fact that the US was actually trusted by both sides, having no territorial interests on the Asian mainland, that clinched the deal.

      President Oogabooga, on the other hand, received a Peace Prize for being black.

      • Tarczan

        I wonder when he will put his medal up for sale.

  • Speedy Steve

    Negroid History Mumf now runs from Kwanzaa until Juneteenth. MLK Day is a mere whistle stop.

  • disqus_irCdmAu8It

    This is family of money-grubbing, soul-selling shylocks. They deserve no sympathy, at all.

  • nobody

    If you find it hard to believe that a traveling bible and a peace prize medal are worth $10 million, don’t forget that these are holy relics just like the relics of saints that brought so much money to local parishes back in the Middle Ages.

    Back then, every church had its relics — a piece of the true cross, the thigh bone of a martyr, one of Mary Magdalene’s toenails, a vial of sweat from the brow of John the Baptist. Most of these relics were outright fakes, of course, but never mind that. They attracted pilgrims and money and that’s the only thing that mattered.

    MLK has been transformed into a modern saint, an almost supernatural figure. His holiness radiates from everything he touched and his relatives are cashing in. I’m surprised they haven’t started selling small bottles of his ashes or locks of his hair or pieces of his heart preserved in formaldehyde.

    • I enjoyed travelling in Europe and looking at relics: someone’s finger in a jar, and so on. I imagine that if all of the pieces of the “true cross” were gathered together, we could build something approximately the size of a football stadium. Another chuckle I received was seeing the “true spear” tip. The fact that it was just some random, very old junk spear tip was obvious from the design: a short, socketed tip. The Roman “pilum” was very distinctive. The tip had a long, narrow, soft iron neck between the socket and the point. The pilum was intended to be thrown in battle, and these necks would bend on the spears hitting either the ground or enemy shields. This made them worthless for throwing back at their original owners. It also made them point-heavy enough to punch through shields. Even an unwounded German, Gaul, Carthaginian or Persian wouldn’t be able to twist the pilum out of the wooden shield, and would have to drop it, due to the horrible encumbrance of the pilum stuck through it. After a battle, the legion’s blacksmiths would straighten out the bent necks. For close-quarters fighting, the Romans used either the gladius or the longer spatha (straight, two-edged swords, with use of the point being much preferred to the edges).

      A pilum of this design would have been exactly what was stuck into Christ, rather than the “relic” I saw, as those were what were issued to the Roman army. By the time of the Crusades, nobody remembered what a real pilum had looked like a thousand years before.

      • Harry

        Where does the gospel mention that a pilum was used? If you were on guard duty, would you want to be armed with a throwing spear made of soft iron? I also doubt that the above mentioned holy relic is real but c’mon, Imperial Rome used a variety of spears.

        • The pilum was what was issued. Roman foot soldiers didn’t use regular spears. Celts sure did, especially the Irish, with leaf-shaped tips, but Christ’s judicial murder happened in the Middle East. If the game is afoot, Watson, that Roman soldier stuck out on guard duty would have used what he had been issued. He would have needed something longer than his sword to reach up that high, so he would logically have used his pilum. If there is an afterlife, I wonder what that poor fool thinks about now.

  • Speedy Steve

    I don’t know, but the local fish wrapper recently reported on a local museum which paid big money for bogus slave artifacts. The woman is White, liberal and silly.

  • Cid Campeador

    I wonder if Jesse Jackson’s bloody shirt has been laundered as yet.

    The Apache known as Mangas Coloradas “Red Sleeves” got his name because he dipped his sleeves in the blood of enemies whom he killed. I’m not implying that Jesse had anything to do with MLKs assassination but the bloody shirt was pure theatrics.
    Remember when he declared that he used to spit into White people’s food when he worked in some kind of restaurant during his youth.
    If a White person had made such an admission, his career would have ended with the declaration.

    • There was also Je$$e’s reference to New York City as “Hymietown” to endear him to liberals who would otherwise have supported him. George Bush (the elder) banned imports of military rifle look-alikes, which infuriated conservatives and helped cost him the 1992 election. A lot of these political dopes are their own worst enemies. Reverend Wright really ought to have caused Oogabooga more damage than he did.