Georgia native Martin Luther King, Junior changed the world. His legacy will be preserved in a memorial on the National Mall in Washington. A non-profit group has raised more than $100 million to design and build the memorial.
Fundraising has been hard during tough economic times, and they still need nearly $20 million so they can start construction.
So it might surprise you that the King family charged the foundation $800,000 for the right to use Dr. King's words and image in fundraising material.
We understand the family's right to prevent unscrupulous people from using the civil rights icon to make money for themselves, but the MLK Memorial Foundation is raising money to promote Dr. King's vision of equality and non-violent social change.
They're not misusing King's legacy to turn a profit.
The King family says the $800,000 will go to the King Center in Atlanta to offset potential fundraising losses, but that explanation seems a bit hollow.
MLK's children should be thrilled that their father will become the first non-president and the first black man honored with his own monument on the national mall, and they should do all they can to make sure the dream of that memorial becomes reality.
During his "I Have a Dream Speech," not far from the spot where his memorial will be built, Dr. King said "we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream."
Powerful words such as that shouldn't be treated as a revenue stream by his children.