Wouldn’t you want your children to reap the benefits of what you had sown? Don’t we all want to leave something behind for people to benefit from after we are gone? Dr. and Mrs. King were well aware that their work was important, but dangerous, and just as well aware of the possibility that their children might grow up without a father, and with a mother who was significantly dedicated to her husband’s cause and legacy. The rights to the works of the parents were their gift to their children, an inheritance, because they knew that they would be forced to grow up and survive in a world completely without privacy. I think any of us in that situation would want the same thing for our children.
They are good people, believe me, and they are doing the best that they can. For Mr. Curry to spread the falsehood that the King family is charging schools for the “I Have a Dream” speech is not only wrong, but hurtful and embarrassing to these good people. I can’t imagine how they must feel, growing up with their father taken so prematurely from them, and then receiving calumny, being treated like misers for wanting their patrimony, like anyone else would.
After celebrating another Martin Luther King Day—and a very special one, it being the Second Inauguration of the first black president—is this really the kind of negativity that Dr. King would want? Dr. King marched to bring people together because of their common humanity, not to see his followers divide and conquer themselves. I hope that we can unite our community, our churches, and our country behind the universal humanitarian message of that great preacher, that great American hero, Martin Luther King. His is a message for all people, a message of peace and authentic hope, born of faith.