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According to financial documents obtained by the Associated Press, the builders of the new Martin Luther King Jr., memorial in Washington D.C., had to pay $761,160 for the right to use King’s words and images to the family.

So this begs the question: “Did the King family commit extortion?”

The money went to Intellectual Properties Management Inc. — a foundation controlled by King’s youngest son, Dexter. Another $71,000 was paid out in a “management fee” to the family estate back in 2003.

Says Charles E. Cobb of The Root:

I hope I’m not the only one who found the opening of this monument soured by what could be considered extortion. In any case, I’m especially ticked off, perhaps because I was an activist and organizer in the Southern freedom movement of the 1960s.

Read more at TheRoot

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Check out our MLK Memorial coverage

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