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  |
  Print   |
    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  |
  Print   |
  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
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
You May Also Like

Cambodia HIV Outbreak: 100-Plus People Diagnosed; Investigation Sought

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 18:50 PM

More than 100 HIV infections in a single Cambodian village have spurred the country's prime minister to ask for an inves . . .

Slender Man Case: Two Girls Competent to Stand Trial in Stabbing

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 18:26 PM

Two girls who allegedly stabbed a 12-year-old friend over the online game Slender Man are competent to stand trial for a . . .

Kate Upton Sexiest Woman Alive; Model Apologizes to Teen Brother

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 17:52 PM

Model Kate Upton was selected as People magazine's first Sexiest Woman Alive, a month after Chris Hemsworth received the . . .

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.

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