Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Day Honoring M.L. King Brings New Vows

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Day Honoring M.L. King Brings New Vows

Article excerpt

The nation remembered the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday amid a feud between his family and the National Park Service over who will preserve his memory and how.

At Ebenezer Baptist Church, where King was pastor, Dexter Scott King vowed to continue his father's work through economic opportunity, calling for a $10 billion investment in the black community.

"My father had a dream. I too have a dream," the son said in a Martin Luther King Day address. "My father delivered to his generation political freedom. I would like to deliver to my generation economic freedom."

More than 400 people packed the church, next door to the Martin Luther King Center for Nonviolent Social Change and the crypt that holds the body of the civil rights leader, who would have been 66 on Sunday.

The park service wants to build a museum and visitors center near the King Center. King's widow, Coretta Scott King, and children want to create their own interactive museum.

The dispute prompted the family to halt park service tours of King's birthplace. The service now shepherds tours past the home and presents a slide show at its own facility about a block away. The sides are scheduled to meet Saturday and discuss the disagreement.

The feud flared again Monday in Dexter King's church speech, and in appearances on CNN and NBC by King, 33, and Troy Lissimore, the park service's superintendent of the King Historic Site.

Lissimore said he thought the dispute could be worked out. But King, now president of the King Center, said the park service had falsely accused the family of trying to profit from his father's memory.

"Myself and my family have been accused of protecting our legacy, the King legacy," King said during the service. "Yet we did not wake up one morning and decide to start a company called Martin Luther King Jr. …

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