Friday, December 6, 2013

MLK Children now at Odds with Andrew Young


Dr. King must be rolling over in his grave. However, if you have not, take time to view the most recent documentary about the "Freedom Riders" and their movement against segregation via PBS. I purchased the DVD, it is very informative and goes on to tell of the time when Dr. King refused to join them and the huge disappointment that was felt among the young riders who put their lives on the line. Very telling indeed. 

Estate vs. center
At the heart of the conflict is the lawsuit filed by King’s sons, Martin Luther King III and Dexter King, who as chairman and president/CEO control their father’s estate. This includes his image and his papers, versus The Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, which is run by King’s daughter, Bernice, where Young serves as a member of the board.

The estate’s suit requests that the center be stopped from using King’s image and likeness unless certain conditions are met. Among those conditions is that Young be removed from the center’s board of directors over allegations that he used footage of King in a documentary without permission.
The lawsuit was filed Aug. 28, the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington where King made his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.

Young, a King confidante who helped coordinate civil rights efforts throughout the South, takes issue about his use of footage in which both he and King appear.
“They said I infringed on their copyright. Well, I don’t think so, because I think it was my right — it’s mine also.”

Why a lawsuit?
But despite facing legal action from people he has been close to for years, Young was philosophical.
“I understand the reason for it. I think it’s the way things go, and the way probably they ought to go,” the former Atlanta mayor, congressman and United Nations ambassador said. “We took many cases to court, simply to have the doctrines clarified and to have a court consider the merits.”
A lawyer for the King estate, Miles Alexander, declined to comment on any litigation.

Why is a lawsuit happening anyway? Jelani Cobb, history professor and director of the Institute for African American Studies at the University of Connecticut, has her own theory on that.
“The legal action Dr. King was concerned about was about broadening access,” Cobb said.
“The legal action that we see most prominently from the King children is about broadening their own financial possibilities and protecting their copyright.”

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