TIME Civil Rights

MLK’s Daughter Begs Brothers Not To Sell His Bible

Martin Luther King Greeted By Family After Jail Release
Donald Uhrbrock--Time & Life Pictures/Getty Image Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holding his son Martin III as his daughter Bernice and wife Coretta greet him at the airport upon his release from Georgia State prison after incarceration for leading boycotts.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney declined to force Bernice King to surrender her father's bible and Nobel Peace Prize to her brothers, but ordered them to be placed in a safe deposit box until the dispute is resolved

Martin Luther King Jr.’s daughter Bernice has agreed to give up possession of her father’s bible and Nobel Peace Prize after a court fight, but begged her two brothers on Thursday not to sell the family artifacts.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney declined to force King to surrender the items to her brothers, but ordered that the bible and prize be placed in a safe deposit box until the dispute is resolved, the Atlanta TV station WXIA reports. The civil rights leader’s estate is run by his two sons, Martin Luther King III and Dexter King, who filed court papers Jan. 31 demanding that their sister return the heirlooms. A lawyer said the estate had been considering selling or leasing the bible and Nobel Prize, a decision Bernice King vehemently opposes. The squabble has turned into a messy public feud between the siblings.

“I appeal to you to reconsider your position and not sell our father’s Bible and Nobel Peace Prize,” King said at a news conference Thursday, WXIA reports. “These two artifacts are too sacred to be sold or be bought under any circumstance.

“It is, deep in my soul, difficult to place what my father described as precious heirlooms under the custody of the government, even if only for a season,” she said. “Yet, I recognize that justice and righteousness are not always aligned, and there is often a disconnect between God’s law and man’s law.”


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