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The letters stay here

Moorehouse, much to the relief of Atlanta, has recently purchased for 32 million the papers of MLK Jr. The low Sotheby’s estimate was 15mil, the high 30mil. Needless to say, the auction has been high drama for the city. The former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young has even exclaimed:‘This is a cheap city if it doesn’t come up with enough money to keep those that heritage here. On the news that they were staying here in Atlanta, Dexter King, on of the 4 children stated I’m very happy about this most important and historic moment — the fact that the papers are coming home and are going to be in a place where people can cherish and honor them.

The Moorehouse purchase will ensure, especially once an appropriate archive/museum is built for them, their permanence in Atlanta and their availability to scholars. Ironically, this project of preservation and public access was part of the purpose and purview of the The King Center. (The King Center, in fact, had received several large government grants for this purpose.)
So, Atlanta has paid 32 million dollars to keep these papers and make these papers public, when, it seems that from the inception of the King Center, the Center should’ve been about preserving these documents and allowing scholars access to them.

 

Comments

the trouble with archives vs the papers they archive is that they gotta have ‘em to keep ‘em. this was something i learned when my family was working out what to do with my grandfather’s papers. needless to say, nobody was offering $32 mil for those, but there were several libraries interested—including some non-research libraries. the ultimate decision was to send them where they’d be best preserved, but i don’t doubt that if there had been any chance to sell them, there’d have been some soul searching about it…

yeah, i thought about that saga… and a certain bible prof who no longer is a bible prof of his own volition who got all in a tizzy b/c HU didn’t pony up what he felt they should to keep those papers…

but, in this case, it seems much less to do with who will house/archive/care for the papers, since the king center should’ve and had received various gov. grants to do just this…

That prof’s efforts were honorable, but they were also pretty naive—(if naive is too strong, then perhaps idealistic is better?). For that school to take that archive, especially for it to take the papers and make them accessible to scholars and other researchers, would have required a sea change in the way the school approaches libraries, not only in terms of cost of storage, but also in terms of commitment to academic study. Perhaps though, that was the prof’s point in his effort…

Anyway, as I understand it, CSK would have had to have bequeathed the papers specifically to the King center for it to have taken immediate control of them after her death. That they were up for auction means this wasn’t the case. I wonder if she had a will? If not, then I’m sure the King Center could do nothing after her death but protest too much. And it’s few grants, gov’t or otherwise, that would cover a $32 mil price tag to buy back the papers it’s supposed to protect…

The trouble is that there has been a history of mismanagement of the king center

The fat cat, of which the above article speaks, is the same one that is over-joyed that the papers are staying in Atlanta, among people who cherish them… is the same one that has tried to sell the dilapidated King Center to the National Parks Service

No, unfortunately, this case has much more to do with the desire to get 32 mil than to protect a father’s legacy… it seems that the historic moment is that 32 mil is going into his coffers (am i too cynical?)... originally it was going to be part of the education post… another example of how and why we are descending into civic disrepair.

i almost added to this rant and that rant

it would've been a gy-mondo rant!

the whole minimum wage thing... give me a freakin’ break Isakson… two different philosophies my big, fatty fumunda-cheese. somehow your belief in two different philosophies goes out the window when it comes to giving yourself pay-raises to the tune of 30K since the last time congress did anything about minimum wage (your little 162K a year difference in philosophy would be one thing if under the republicans government were smaller, less nepostistic, cronistic, and simonistic and if we weren’t on the verge of financial nuclear melt-down... it would be one thing if you hadn't billed yourself as a caring Sunday School, who should know what God does to those who don't take care of the poor whose backs you break)

and that rush is back on the dope

but i didn’t want to come off as too whiny.