Do not Fuck With his Children

Was hanging out at another place and ran into another discussion about the trial currently underway about the children of Martin Luther King fighting about whether or not the have a right to sell some shit. I have paid little or no attention to the case as 1: I feel like it is none of my fucking business, and 2: Because it is none of my fucking business.

I have made this point in a couple of comment threads, but this morning, some individuals that I really respect, and who may have missed my previous exhortations on this issue, seemed to have still missed the point. Actually there are more than a few involved in what seems to be the continuing tragedy that forms the legacy of Martin Luther King.



I have paid zero attention to the issue. My cognizance is limited to comments about it that I have come across, but it has begun to dawn on me that I do have a dog in this fight, well that is a bit of bullshit, because it is not my business. The bigger mongrel concerns certain facts of certain matters, which chiefly among these are race. The shit that really woke my ass up this morning were a couple of comments from friends of mine.

Just reading about Martin Luther King, Jr’s children.

Bet he is spinning in his grave about now.

The sons want his Bible and Peace Prize (apparently to sell) and his daughter wants them to be accessible to the public.


There is nothing inherently wrong with this, and it is a “mess.” But, it is fundimentaly none of our fucking business. This was not the comment that set me off, what did was the following reply to this comment:

They take the fun right out of dysfunctional


My reply:

Please choose more appropriate targets for your snark.

The kids in question lost their father at a very early age, in the worst possible way imaginable.

Kicking down is what that shit is.

Also, they (the children of mlk) have been coopted by the most vile pack of jackels…the same ones that wish to ruin us all

Forgive me if i find your quip offensive.

And credit is due to the target of my response as he followed thusly:

Point taken. Thank you.

I love both of these guys, but both struck a particularly sensitive nerve. Another beloved commenter, whom I have actually had the pleasure to meet in person had previously stated with respect to the discussion that

They probably need the $, I doubt his estate was very large. Also, too, a sense of entitlement to their dad’s legacy.

Which got me thinking about Tulsa, Rosewood, Lynchings, Redlining, colored only water fountains and the attendant raft of indignities which continue to plague the African American population to this day. To this I responded:


Black people have rarely had any such luxury of acquiring anything resembling.

And they are more entitled to his legacy than any of us are.

I am sure that there are vastly more interesting battles in court for even more ridiculous and petty reasons going on among the landed scions of old money transpiring that we never hear abt.

This was composed on a phone with a small keyboard with one finger so fuck the typos.

The point was momentarily forgotten, the point which really matters in any discussion of this situation, sorry one of the points, Blacks in this country have been systematically fucked from the get go while having to watch numerous waves of immigrants become absorbed into the privilege that has traditionally been granted to the European, cum Asian, and to a smaller extent Caribbean/Central(light skinned varietal’s only) Americans, which they enjoy as we speak.

We don’t own the legacy of Martin Fucking Luther King. We would love to. However, the fucking Jackassed RatFucking MotherFuckers on the right have been attempting to abscond with it for my entire fucking life.

“…color of my children…judged by the content of their character…”
This shit has been used to justify so much sophistry that if it was water it could float the fucking earth. It has always made me want to fucking scream.

The children involved own his legacy. Period.

As far as I am concerned only those who lost a parent in his prime to assasination, one who had made such an impact on the world, can opine about the subject, anyone choosing to throw barbs, toss about witty asides, can fuck themselves in my book.


Comments: 16


thanks, as one of those low pigment CA types, it’s often encountered that I hear about other folks’ attachment to our Banditos and Pancho&Lefty legends. But MLK can’t belong just to his family, any more than JFK, imho.

Jane Gagle-Bennett

Your comments in the other space made me think, and reading your extended comments makes me think about a judgment I’ve been making about his conservative daughter – I’ve thought ‘how could she,’ and I realize now it’s none of my fckg business.




Nice to see you bbkf!

hope you are making through winter ok.


Provider you have given me food for thought. I think part of the problem with MLK’s kids is we think the should be above petty concerns like money. Also if his speeches were in the public domain (which I believe the should be) maybe they couldnT be so easily hijacked and reduced to one stupid quote.


Shit happens, Provider ol’ pal.
The family of Madiba are all involved in some kinda convoluted court cases (plural) about the stuff he left behind – including his Childrens Fund. I haven’t been following because as you say MYOB but some seem motivated by greed and some by Preserve the Heritage. Some apples do fall far from trees.
The only one I know about is Graca Machel, his widow. She stepped back and said she is making no claims against the estate (yes, he had one). That lady has true class and my respect always.


I’m in educational publishing, so I have more interest in the policies of the King estate than most. Just as an example, trying to publish excerpts from Letter from a Birmingham Jail cost way more than my bosses would ever authorize in this age of easy access to public domain.The King Center is very, very tight about allowing his works out of their grasp.
But even if that frustrates me sometimes, I completely sympathize that they are completely within their rights. More to the point King’s children deserve the right to control their father’s legacy. He was their father and he was killed when they were young. And vultures have been circling around his legacy since before they were out of grade school. So I don’t begrudge them the right to do with their father’s works whatever they wish.


good to be seen, provider…one of our weirder winters…days of sub-zero temps immediately alleviated by temps in the 40s…recently had some serious melting followed by precip and now freezing and windy so everything is covered in rutted, glare ice…also, influenza a and a ferociously clinging cold bug are kicking the crap out of us…


But MLK can’t belong just to his family, any more than JFK, imho.

I don’t think I was making that argument Ruth. Thanks for coming by though.


…freezing and windy so everything is covered in rutted, glare ice…also, influenza a and a ferociously clinging cold bug are kicking the crap out of us…

We get that fucking rutted Icy shit around here sometimes, makes for interesting bike rides. It is a good thing that I know how to fall.

Sorry about the flu. I don’t think I have gotten it, but some crud has been haunting my shadow for a couple months now, so I feel you there.

:-0, 🙂


In other words, MLK’s children are acting much like many other families do when dividing up the assets of their deceased parents. We’ve never heard of children squabbling over their inheritance before, have we?

Yet another instance of the double-standard.


Yet another instance of the double-standard.

ding ding ding!

Anyway it’s double post day. New one up.


There is a BIG difference between JFK and MLK. Well, two if you count the fact that Kennedys were and are swimming in dough for many generations while the Kings from Daddy King (MLK Sr.) on were comfortably middle class at best.
The bigger difference though as far as historically significant assets is the JFK was the president. You want the pen he signed the Cuban embargo with, tough? It belongs to the United States government. That puts his best stuff historically in the public domain automatically.
MLK, Jr. on the other hand was always a private citizen, so everything belongs to his family alone. You want the first draft of “I Have a Dream”? Talk to the King Institute. (They won’t sell it to you, but unlike JFK’s presidential stuff, they could.)


I think this post hits the nail squarely on the head. Whatever happens to the assets of the King Estate, it belongs to his heirs. You want to carp about public domain and access to original work? Why don’t we start with the Estate of one Mr. Walt Disney? The copyright – jealously guarded and vigorously sued over – has been extended time and again by acts of Congress, far longer than any property is supposed to be protected.

I’ll join in the movement to put King’s assets into the public domain 25 years after Walt Disney’s output is put into the public domain,


i haven’t really followed it either. but since they aren’t fucking bankers/pigs, i figure they get to be concerned about money just like the rest of us.


Very nice point, ProviderUne. I really feel like I learned a lot reading it and it changed my judgmental mind.


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