Calling the latest battle over the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s possessions a “spiritually violent” moment in her family’s history, the civil rights icon’s sole surviving daughter said Thursday she already had won the “moral high ground,” regardless of a court’s decision.
At issue are her father’s 1964 Nobel Peace Prize and traveling Bible, used to swear in President Barack Obama for his second term. Bernice King declined to hand the items over on Wednesday, as mandated in a February court order. She has previously said her brothers would sell the items if she gave them up.
The Fulton County Superior Court in Georgia extended the deadline for King to produce the items until Monday, saying it would hold them in a safe-deposit box until the litigation between King and her brothers is settled.
“I must say it is deep-in-my-soul difficult to place my father’s prized, precious heirlooms under the custody of the state, even if only for a season,” she told supporters who gathered at Atlanta’s historic Ebenezer Baptist Church.
“Yet I recognize that justice and righteousness are not always aligned,” she continued, “and there’s often a disconnect between God’s law and man’s law. As dad said, ‘We must accept finite disappointment but never lose infinite hope.’
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