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The children of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. have sunk to an all-time low and perhaps it’s finally time for a real family intervention.

America is witnessing a black family in crisis.

In the latest pitiful saga of family-against-family law suits, finger-pointing, and name-calling by the children of Dr. King, Bernice King now claims that her brothers, Martin Luther King III and Dexter King, are suing her to gain possession of King’s 1964 Nobel Peace Prize medal and a Bible used by President Barack Obama during his second inauguration so Martin III and Dexter can sell them.

In a suit filed in Georgia, the estate, chaired by King’s elder son, Martin, said Bernice King “has secreted and sequestered the property.” The estate is seeking an emergency court order forcing her to return the items.

So it’s come to this: Two of King’s most cherished possessions – the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize medal which he received for his courageous effort to lead a non-violent civil rights movement and his Bible — could end up being sold for a small fortune.

“My brothers want to sell my father’s Nobel Peace Prize medal and his Bible,” Bernice said in a statement released this week. “Our Father MUST be turning in his grave.”

“While I love my brothers dearly, this latest decision by them is extremely troubling,” she said. “Not only am I appalled and utterly ashamed, I am frankly disappointed that they would even entertain the thought of selling these precious items. It reveals a desperation beyond comprehension.”

Are Martin and Dexter so broke that they need to cash in on their father’s personal mementos?

And here’s an ironic twist: When King was notified of his award, he announced that he would turn over the prize money – $54,123 – to support the civil rights movement. Fifty years after King unselfishly donated his Nobel Prize money to his campaign for social justice, his children are fighting each other in court over the same Noble Prize medal – for money.

It’s sad to watch this ugly and unnecessary family dispute between King’s children being played out on a national stage. If Bernice King is right, Martin III and Dexter are looking pretty shady. King’s Bible held a special Christian meaning for him. Where does spirituality fit in with Martin III and Dexter’s law suit against their sister?

COMMENTARY: Family in Crisis: Bernice King Calls Brothers’ Plan to Sell MLK’s Items ‘Reprehensible’  was originally published on

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