Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. mobilized a generation and was arguably the most important voice of the American civil rights movement. His death was a great loss to the nation. But what he left behind, his legacy was unparalleled. Unfortunately, there is a legacy that MLK did not mean to leave behind. That legacy have been a series of battles in court involving his children. King's estate is run by his sons, Martin Luther King III and Dexter King, while The Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change is run by King's remaining living daughter, Bernice King.
In the most recent rounds of legal battles, the estate claimed in August 2013 that it is the owner of the worldwide rights and property interests involving King's name, image, likeness, recorded voice, and memorabilia. That includes his writings, speeches, sermons, and letters, as well as the remains and coffin in his crypt.
The siblings used to get along. In fact, the estate has been the center's largest financial contributor for the past decade. Unfortunately, the relationship between the two "has recently become strained, resulting in a total breakdown in communication and transparency."
Now brothers are suing sister. On August 28, 2013, the estate asked a judge to stop the center from using their father's image, likeness, and memorabilia.
This is not the legacy that Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. would have wanted to leave his children