Harry Belafonte recently settled the matter of ownership of certain documents with the Martin Luther King family out of court.
The two parties have finally (after a long time) made peace. This burying of the hatchet in a way occurred by default. Harry Belafonte, the songster and political activist had an ongoing row with the surviving family members of Martin Luther King Jr.
Harry Belafonte had been in possession of two documents which were dear to the Martin Luther King family for whatever reasons. They included a speech that King wrote just before his assassination.
In it King had spoken out vociferously against the Vietnam War. The other was a letter by Lyndon B. Johnson to King. The estimated worth of the documents if they were auctioned off amounted to $1.3 million.
Harry Belafonte wanted to sell them off but the MLK family including the wife of King refused to acknowledge that Harry had a right to these documents.
The family of MLK pressed charges saying that the documents had been acquired by illegal means. This was a blatant lie of course. Harry Belafonte had known King in his times and was a close friend and confidante.
Harry and King had been like brothers and the unfortunate death of King left Harry devastated. Yet the MLK family insisted that the documents be handed over to them. This was something that Harry took issue with so he also filed a lawsuit against them.
After much litigation, which is a common thing in the litigious society that is America, the two seem to have reached a deal outside the law courts.
Whether Belafonte will sell the documents for a hefty sum or not remains to be seen. For now, one thing is certain. He gets to keep them and that is final.
Harry Belafonte is the singer of Caribbean beat songs that touch hearts and minds everywhere. He is quite an old man by now being 87 years old. So he obviously must not be a money-hungry individual.
In the end, this will be a story to tell our children and our grandchildren that we were part of the tidal wave for a more humane world.— Harry Belafonte (@harrybelafonte) August 31, 2013