According to financial documents obtained by the Associated Press, the builders of the new Martin Luther King Jr., memorial in Washington D.C., had to pay $761,160 for the right to use King’s words and images to the family.
So this begs the question: “Did the King family commit extortion?”
The money went to Intellectual Properties Management Inc. — a foundation controlled by King’s youngest son, Dexter. Another $71,000 was paid out in a “management fee” to the family estate back in 2003.
Says Charles E. Cobb of The Root:
I hope I’m not the only one who found the opening of this monument soured by what could be considered extortion. In any case, I’m especially ticked off, perhaps because I was an activist and organizer in the Southern freedom movement of the 1960s.