Anyone who knows me is aware of my admiration for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as a speaker, preacher, writer, community activist, and proponent of peace and nonviolence. Many do not appreciate the fact that he was much bigger than a mere advocate for racial equality, but rather was a warrior for the larger causes of social and economic justice. In light of the controversies over his writings and his personal life, he was undoubtedly a flawed figure (aren't we all?) but his legacy and contributions to society are undeniable.
This is precisely why the battle over Dr. King's estate in which his children have recently been involved has been such a tragedy and---I dare say---an embarrassment. I cannot help but think that, with so far to go in terms ofachieving just societies and just economies, if he were alive today Dr. King would be sick to know that his children are not so much fighting to carry on his legacy as they are fighting with each other about the assets and property rights in Dr. King's estate.
That is why it was so refreshing to see that a few days ago the King children evidently decided to resolve their differences and settle their pending litigation with each other. Specifically, Dexter King's brother and sister sued him alleging that he engaged in improprieties while he was acting as head of Dr. King's estate, and the parties were on the verge of a civil jury trial which would no doubt have aired the King family's finances and any dirty laundry. Estate, trust and probate battles often unfortunately result in families being completely torn apart, but it appears (from the article at least) that the King siblings are hopeful that they can forgive and reconcile their differences. This is the exception rather than the rule in such circumstances, but is a development of which Dr. King would no doubt be proud.