King monument didn’t come cheap, thanks to King family

On the eve of this weekend’s dedication, a reminder of the King kin’s greed (originally posted 4/17/09): A few years back they sold their father’s words and image to a communications company — “I have a dream … that everyone will use Cingular wirless service.” This is worse: The family of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. has charged the foundation building a monument to the civil rights leader on the National Mall about $800,000 for the use of his words and image — an arrangement one leading scholar says King would have found offensive. … “I don’t think the Jefferson family,…

The most important dinner in Atlanta’s history

In 1965, a coalition of Atlanta’s political, religious and cultural leaders organized a banquet to honor a native son, the city’s first Nobel Prize winner. The integrated affair was not without controversy, but civic pride and a sense of decency prevailed. You won’t find a better illustration of why Atlanta is not Birmingham, and vice-versa. A LIFE magazine reporter was among the invited guests. Some 1,500 persons gathered, Negro and white, banker and yardman, society matron and maid, gathered in an Atlanta hotel to honor both Dr. King, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, and the cause for which he won it:…

a new low for king kin

A few years back they sold their father’s words and image to a communications company — “I have a dream … that everyone will use Cingular wirless service.” This is worse: The family of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. has charged the foundation building a monument to the civil rights leader on the National Mall about $800,000 for the use of his words and image — an arrangement one leading scholar says King would have found offensive. … “I don’t think the Jefferson family, the Lincoln family … I don’t think any other group of family ancestors has been paid a…

“if you make a dollar, we should make a dime”

Zealous guardians of his words and his likeness, the family of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. is demanding a share of the proceeds from the sudden wave of T-shirts, posters and other merchandise depicting the civil rights leader alongside Barack Obama. Isaac Newton Farris Jr., King’s nephew and head of the nonprofit King Center in Atlanta, said the estate is entitled to hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing fees — maybe even millions. “Some of this is probably putting food on people’s plates. We’re not trying to stop anybody from legitimately supporting themselves,” he said, “but we cannot allow our…

mlk’s final speech

Commemorating the 40th anniversary of his assassination, Memphis magazine has a timeline of the last “31 hours, 28 minutes” of Martin Luther King Jr.’s life, including this passage about his final speech: 10:30 p.m. — King concludes his speech with, “Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!” and takes a seat, his eyes wet with tears. Honey writes, “Pandemonium swept Mason Temple as people came to their feet — applauding, cheering, yelling, crying.” Another minister observes, “When he sat down, he was just crying. He sure was.” Preachers sometimes cried, but he had never seen King do…