Martin Luther King Jr. was a great American. Sadly, the same can not be said of his children. They are charging 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. I wonder what the Reverend King would think of that arrangement? According to this AP story,
WASHINGTON (AP) -- 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.
The memorial - including a 28-foot sculpture depicting King emerging from a chunk of granite - is being paid for almost entirely with private money in a fundraising campaign led by the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation. The monument will be turned over to the National Park Service once it is complete.
The foundation has been paying the King family for the use of his words and image in its fundraising materials. The family has not charged for the use of King's likeness in the monument itself.
"I don't think the Jefferson family, the Lincoln family ... I don't think any other group of family ancestors has been paid a licensing fee for a memorial in Washington," said Cambridge University historian David Garrow, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his biography of King. "One would think any family would be so thrilled to have their forefather celebrated and memorialized in D.C. that it would never dawn on them to ask for a penny.