I’m trying to figure out if Martin Luther King Jr.’s children fight more than other siblings or is just more public? Do you fight with your adult siblings? How do you handle conflict now?
It seems like MLK’s kids are constantly feuding. The latest fight is over the film rights to their father’s story.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports:
“DreamWorks Studios’ announcement Tuesday that it plans a big-screen epic on the life of Martin Luther King Jr. quickly sparked a new battle among his three feuding children.”
“Dexter King, who lives in California, negotiated the sale of rights by the King estate for what he hopes will be ‘the definitive film’ on his father’s life and legacy, he said in a press release.”
“But his brother and sister, Atlantans Martin Luther King III and Bernice King, said they only learned of the deal in an e-mail from him Tuesday morning as DreamWorks announced the film project.”
“They don’t consider the deal valid and plan to fight it, Bernice King said in an interview later Tuesday.”
” ‘We are taking action. We cannot reveal what it is at this time,’ she said . . . .”
“The three King siblings have gone to court in Georgia over control of the corporation that controls their parents’ legacy. That case revolves around papers of their mother, Coretta Scott King, that Dexter is trying to use for a biography and that Martin and Bernice King are trying to block.”
“Martin and Bernice King were also angered by a deal cut by Dexter King and a record company for recordings of their father.”
A 2008 article written by Bo Emerson of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution goes into more detail from the siblings about their fighting. (It’s really heartbreaking to read.) At that point they were fighting over their mother’s private documents after her death. Oldest sister Yolanda died before this battle. Here are some excerpts from the interview with Martin Luther King III and daughter Bernice. Dexter declined to be interviewed at that time.
” ‘People say why can’t they just talk about it?’ said Bernice King, the youngest of the four King siblings. ‘We tried that. We’ve gotten nowhere. For us it was a business decision to try to pursue this. … If it was just any business, I’d just say, ‘Buy me out, and we’re gone.’ But Martin and I have a responsibility to society.’ ”
“Martin King said the private letters between their parents, sought by Dexter for a biography of their mother, ought to be off-limits.”
” ‘First of all, we feel violated,’ he said. ‘The personal papers of our mom, we haven’t had the opportunity to go through them. We have the right to see them.’ Martin and Bernice said the letters are scattered among hundreds of boxes of personal property left after their mother died in 2006. ..”
“The siblings’ personal relationship has suffered, said Martin King. Dexter has yet to see Martin’s 5-month-old daughter, Yolanda, the only granddaughter of Coretta and Martin Luther King Jr.”
“Dexter did spend Thanksgiving with Martin’s family last year, said Martin, but added that their relationship is ‘not good.’ ”
” ‘I wish and long for it to be better. When we met in the courtroom, he was almost looking through me. I don’t know that he acknowledged my presence. I talked to him after the birth of our daughter. He sent me maybe one message. He never expressed a desire to see her.’ “
What do you think: Do the MLK sibs fight more than other siblings or is it just that it’s more public?
Have you fought for your sibs over your parents belongings after their death? Have you ever fought about a family business with your siblings? How was it resolved? Have you ever taken a sibling to court? Have you ever not seen a sibling’s new baby?
What do you think the King siblings should do to resolve their conflicts and patch up their relationships?
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