In light of recent developments with the King children saga, I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if things had unfolded a little differently. What if Dr. Bernice King stuck to her guns and chose NOT to turn over the Nobel Peace Prize and personal use travel bible of her father, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., even though she was under court order to do so?

As you know, this all began when her brothers Dexter and Martin III decided they were in favor of selling these precious items which represent both Dr. King’s fight for our equal access and his platform of Christian ministry, and aligned themselves against her. Their inability to agree led to court intervention. Thus far, that intervention has relegated the historical items to neutral “safe-keeping” until a decision is made by the court.

SEE ALSO: Bernice King Distances Herself From Brothers: “We Are Different People, With Different Minds”


Compliance means relinquishing the items and alleviating any possibility of a contempt of court charge, whereas noncompliance would have signaled a conviction deeply rooted in her father’s spirit and legacy but also possible jail time for Bernice King.

The community has stood by Bernice in this matter, and I too stand alongside her in solidarity. Nevertheless, I cannot help but envision the world standing toe-to-toe with her if she had chosen a different route; the route of nonconformity. I surmise that fifty years ago under similar circumstances, her father would have gone against the grain, ignored the court order, rallied the world and held any opposer of his righteous protest as being in contempt of history and in contempt of our responsibility to preserve the priceless.

Remember, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the civil rights movement. The prism in which the great Dr. King viewed these items should be paramount for his children as they struggle to agree.


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