Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Crazy MLK Kids Reach an Agreement

After more than 14 hours of discussion, the heirs of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. reached a settlement late Monday that will keep the family from a public jury trial.

Martin Luther King III, Bernice King and Dexter King had aired their grievances in open court for more than a year. The siblings began negotiations Monday morning as the threat loomed of a civil trial that was expected to reveal personal and financial details about King Inc.

Dexter King's brother and sister sued him in July 2008, accusing him of acting improperly as head of the their father's estate, which the three of them control as a private corporation. In the lawsuit, they claimed he shut them out of decisions involving King Inc. and refused to hold a shareholders meeting since 2004. The three have been largely estranged for months as Martin Luther King III and Bernice King said their brother continued to make decisions on behalf of King Inc. without their input or knowledge.


The events leading up to this resolution are sad on so many levels. I am glad the problems were finally resolved. I was taught as a child that family issues should remain private and should be resolved internally. There is no reason to put all of your family's business out on the street. I understand that the King family has a much higher profile than mine and that it's harder for them to keep things quiet. Nevertheless, the shenanigans some of the King kids have pulled over the years are sophomoric. They are just as bad as James Brown's family.

I have no idea who is truly at fault, but I do know the situation could have been handled much better. Their parents are luminaries in the Black community and around the world. Even if MLK's kids hate each other, they should respect the memory of their parents enough to handle their affairs in a civil and private manner.

I really like Dr. King's "I Have Been to the Mountaintop Speech". I hope you will as well.