To the King Family
I'm pretty sure the King family (as in Dr. Martin Luther) regularly read my blog, come here for the sort of advice only EL can give, so I wanted to offer my two cents on this issue of the King papers.
It's too bad he didn't live long enough to make you filthy rich, but it's even worse that he didn't live long enough to now be a very old man still speaking for equality, and offering his first-person accounts of the history he helped bring about.
But, since he didn't, the best we've got are his papers. And by "we" I don't mean people with the last name King. These papers aren't in very good shape (thanks) but they're what we've got and wouldn't it be dumb if some gazillionaire bought these and hid them in his estate for the next 75 years and then passed him onto his grandkid for the next 100? Could happen. Wouldn't it be even worse if 60 different people bought them just so they could have a piece of King's handwriting and these things were so scattered that they were nearly unusable to scholars?
Dr. King was educated at Morehouse College and Crozer and Boston University divinity schools. Morehouse currently houses a lot of important papers, like Howard Thurman's, and even some of King's. It seems to me that a nice donation to Morehouse could be the way to go.
If, contrary to popular belief, the King family does not in fact diligently read My Amusement Park, or just misses this particular post, let me ask all the multi-millionaires out there: $30 million laying around? How about bidding on these papers and then donating them to Morehouse (or BU or some other institution of higher learning)? Oprah? Bill Gates? Brangelina? What do you think? I volunteer to facilitate the transaction.