By Kenya King
Intrepidly stepping into her father’s role and speaking on his behalf, Bernice King says “my bible and my medal are never to be sold not to an institution or even a person.” Surrounded by dozens of supporters in the pulpit the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, King Center CEO, Bernice King, held a press conference to publically announce her strong opposition against her brothers’ desire to sell Dr. King’s Nobel Peace Prize and the bible Dr. King carried and was used during President Barack Obama’s inauguration. Dexter King and Martin Luther King, III have filed a lawsuit against their sister in order sell the medal and bible to a private buyer.
It is still a mystery as to why the brothers want to sell the items, and there is much speculation as to whether the brothers need money.
Despite the reasons Bernice King says it will not happen under her guard because it is the right thing to do. “Not on my watch…I know that my position is right,” she says. She also persists that the conflict is not about sibling rivalry or her growing up to be a leader.
While she maintains that she loves her brothers, she asserts “we have no right to sell our birthright nor the birthright of the past, the current and future generations.”
“It is about being on the right side of history and “about a righteous cause and standing on principles,” she adds.
King also revealed that her brothers know where items are and that they are “hidden in plain sight.” She explained that “perhaps God put them beyond their reach so that they don’t misplace what has been bestowed and entrusted to us as custodians.”
Again discarding the perception that the discord is just the King children fighting again, she reiterated that Dr. King gave away all of the monies from the Nobel Peace Prize to the movement and accepted it as a trustee on behalf of all men who love peace, brotherhood and sisterhood.
“The Nobel Prize is the greatest prize that man can give to man. It is to be for humankind,” says C.T. Vivian, interim president of the SCLC, who came to offer support. “I don’t know [why they want to sell the items]. That’s what’s bothering us all. This is why we’re here. We know that it shouldn’t be done and that’s what we’re saying. It should not be done – for whatever your reason is. You can’t have a reason that’s important enough,” says Vivian.
King concluded she hopes protecting of her father’s legacy would ultimately lead young people to embrace her father’s teachings of nonviolence for a better world.