Creative Loafing notes more revolting developments from King Inc.:
At the same time the King Center board brought on Bernice, it also placed control of the center in the hands of King Inc., the for-profit corporation run by younger brother Dexter King. That arrangement will make it easier for Dexter, Bernice, and the other family members who make up the board to squeeze every ounce of profit from the King Center, which has historically operated as a charitable foundation. Martin hints that his kin bounced him from the CEO’s job and replaced him with Bernice because he objected to the plan to monetize his father’s tomb.
Readers with long memories will recall the King kids’ previous efforts to turn the MLK legacy into cold, hard cash. The early warning came in 1993, when they sued USA Today for reprinting their father’s “I Have a Dream” speech on MLK Day without first paying them off. The speech has since been removed from school textbooks because the authors couldn’t afford the royalties. And yet, when their price is met, no use seems inappropriate: i.e., using the speech to advertise Cingular cell phone service in 2001. …
And, just last year, the foundation creating the MLK National Monument in Washington, D.C., was forced to pony up $800,000 to the King kids in order to license the Civil Rights leader’s likeness and words.