MLK daughter says Nobel, Bible are "sacred" and not for sale

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by Doug Richards, WXIA

11alive.com

Posted on February 7, 2014 at 8:46 AM

Updated Friday, Feb 7 at 8:46 AM

ATLANTA -- At the King Center, there is on display a replica of the Nobel Peace Prize won by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1964. Dr. King's Bible had been on display there until President Obama borrowed it to take his second oath of office last year.

Dr. King's youngest child, Bernice King, says her two older brothers -- Dexter King and Martin Luther King III-- want to sell the Bible and the Nobel medallion.

"Those two items are sacred," Bernice King said Thursday.

Speaking at her father's old pulpit at historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, she told a news conference she will fight the sale in court -- making an inter-family legal squabble very, very public.

"You don't sell your Bible. And this Nobel Peace Prize? Daddy was a trustee. He accepted it for a movement," Bernice King said.

She acknowledged that she and her brothers have all profited from the sale of their father's papers as well as other heirlooms. She noted that her father copyrighted his "I have a dream" speech and other material.

"When it comes to his words, I believe there is a proper way to benefit from that. But there are some things you don't sell. You have to draw a line," she said in response to a question about her own role in selling her father's legacy.

Bernice King says she views herself as the guardian of Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy -- and its most important artifacts. An attorney for her brothers did not respond to a request for comment.

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