While the civil rights film Selma disappointingly missed out on some victories at the Golden Globes this year, the real life family of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. are having some troubling times of their own. The children of the late Martin Luther King Jr. are fighting over his personal Bible. While King’s daughter, Bernice, is holding on to the Bible for herself, King’s sons Martin Luther King III and Dexter Scott King are suing her for ownership of the Bible so they can sell the piece of history.
According to the New York Daily News, Martin Luther King Jr.’s Bible is not the only personal item the siblings are fighting for; his Nobel Peace Prize is also up for debate. King won the prize in 1964 for his non-violent activism against segregation on Montgomery buses. While both items are extremely valuable artifacts, the Bible has added value for having been used to inaugurate President Obama in 2013.
The sons of the historical figure want to sell the Bible and the prize to obtain money, which they claim they need to continue running Martin Luther King’s estate. But, according to the Los Angeles Times, Bernice wants to keep the Bible and the Nobel Peace Prize for the sentimental value. She claims Martin Luther King Jr. gave the Bible to his wife Coretta Scott King. When Coretta died, Bernice took over the estate, giving her ownership of the Bible.
“There is no justification for selling either of these sacred items. They are priceless and should never be exchanged for money in the marketplace,” Bernice said about the lawsuit. “While I love my brothers dearly, this latest decision by them… reveals a desperation beyond comprehension.”
Since the siblings can not agree on the fate of the Bible or the Prize, ownership of the artifacts will have to be determined by the courts. King’s Bible and Nobel Prize are currently being held by the court until a judge makes a ruling on who should own the items. The decision will either by made on Tuesday, or a trial date will be set for February, wherein King’s children can make their case for who gets the historical Bible.
According to the Associated Press, the Bible could be worth as much as $400,000, while King’s Nobel Prize medal could be worth up to $20 million. Neither the Bible nor the prize have been available for public viewing since Martin Luther King Jr.’s death. They have been carefully protected by the King family until now.
Which sibling do you think should own Martin Luther King’s personal Bible?