Harry Belafonte Sues King Family Over MLK Documents Ownership

Image: Harry Belafonte Sues King Family Over MLK Documents Ownership

Thursday, 17 Oct 2013 12:24 PM

By Clyde Hughes

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
A longtime dispute between entertainer Harry Belafonte and the family of Martin Luther King Jr. has reached the courts, with the singer filing a federal lawsuit to retain ownership of historic documents from the slain civil rights leader.

The historic documents from the civil rights movement include an undelivered speech that King had on him when he was assassinated in 1968, a famous 1967 speech that was King’s first outcry against America’s involvement in Vietnam, and a condolence letter that then-President Lyndon Johnson sent to King’s wife, Coretta, following MLK’s death.

Editor's Note: ObamaCare Is Here. Are You Prepared?

Belafonte, 86, told the New York Post that Coretta Scott King gave him the LBJ letter in 2003, three years before she passed away. The notes from the Memphis speech — potentially King’s last written words — were left to Belafonte by a former King aide upon his death in 1979. He received the Vietnam speech outline directly from King.

King's estate, led by daughter Bernice King, denies Belafonte's claims. Bernice King said he wrongfully acquired" the papers when artists tried to auction the items off for charity in 2008.

"Dr. King was a regular guest at Mr. Belafonte’s Manhattan apartment: he worked, socialized and rested there," states the lawsuit, which asks the court to declare Belafonte the rightful owner of the items. "Not surprisingly, during their long time together, Mr. Belafonte came to own documents associated with Dr. King and his widow."

CNN reported that the King family has struggled in the past in court battles for King's documents. 

Belafonte and King's children have been at odds since 2006, when the singer was banned from attending Coretta Scott King's funeral. George W. Bush attended the funeral, and Belafonte had been a strong critic of the Bush administration at the time, so the family barred him from coming.

Belafonte, a popular actor and Calypso singer in the 1960 and 1970s, became friends with King during the Civil Rights movement. He participated in some of its biggest protests of the era, including a March on Washington.

Editor's Note: Do You Support Obamacare? Vote in Urgent National Poll

Related stories:

LBJ Faced Lampooning Worse Than Obama 'Rodeo Clown'

Malala Receives Top Amnesty Award

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Copy Shortlink
Send me more news as it happens.
Get me on The Wire
Send me more news as it happens.
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
You May Also Like

Halle Berry Says Gabriel Aubry Wants Daughter to Look White

Wednesday, 26 Nov 2014 11:21 AM

Halle Berry and her ex Gabriel Aubry went to war in court over their daughter's hair and a judge ruled that neither coul . . .

Chinese Coal Mine Fire Follows Earthquake, Killing Dozens

Wednesday, 26 Nov 2014 10:22 AM

At least two dozen workers have been killed and 52 injured in a coal mine fire that followed a shallow 1.6 magnitude ear . . .

Billy Joel, Barack Obama Snuck Out for a Smoke at White House?

Wednesday, 26 Nov 2014 09:54 AM

Billy Joel, who has been trying to quit smoking, turned down a cigarette from House Speaker John Boehner on a recent tri . . .

Top Stories

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved