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Harry Belafonte


To Sell MLK's Speeches

10/15/2013 1:28 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

1015_harry_mtk_gettyHarry Belafonte wants to be free at last ... to sell original speeches penned by Martin Luther King, Jr., but King's Estate has mounted a challenge from the mountaintop ... so Belafonte is now suing.

Get this ... Belafonte has the notes that were in Dr. King's suit pocket when he was assassinated in 1968.  He also has a condolence letter written to Coretta King by President Lyndon Johnson.  And, he has various King speeches, including the outline for the famous "The casualties of the war in Vietman" speech.

Belafonte tried to sell the docs at a Sotheby's auction back in 2008, but the Estate objected and the auction was cancelled. 

Belafonte apparently was stewing over this for years, and now he's made his move by filing a lawsuit asking a judge to confirm he's the rightful owner.  And get this ... Sotheby's is holding all the docs until a court decides who owns the priceless stuff.

As for how Harry gained possession of the docs, he had a long relationship with King during the Civil Rights movement.  In fact, King worked at Belafonte's NYC apartment and Belafonte even provided King with financial support.


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Dead account Delete at will    

Wooo Hooo lets hear those Rodney King speeches.

370 days ago


Martin Luther King Jr. plagiarized a lot the stuff he "wrote"... seems hypocritical to me.

370 days ago

Dead account Delete at will    

Martain Loofah King.
Stay clean with the King!

370 days ago

Yes, I'm That Leah    

I'm so proud to be African American. Such a rich history! Good luck Harry, I wanna see you've been hiding all these years.

370 days ago

Dead account Delete at will    

And heres my racial joke of the day brought to you by MLK.
Why do black people only have nightmares?
Because the last one to have A Dream was killed

370 days ago


Let me guess: The King family claims that anything Marty ever touched or belonged to him and has any monetary value is rightfully theirs? I do hope Mr. Belafonte prevails.

370 days ago

Mponjoli malakasuka    

oooh its another one, Hov where your are, please we need to respect MLK

370 days ago


He owns the material so I see no issues if he wants to sell it. He is old now and maybe needs the income for him and his family. It be better if he donated it to a museum or college separate from the family so everyone can view it.

370 days ago


King family can buy them and donate them

370 days ago

phil osopher    


370 days ago


MLK was a drum major.

370 days ago

Dead account Delete at will    

Thought I'd throw this out to everyone.
when you refer to yourself as African American why do you feel the need to add the African part? Do you think we'll not know your African unless you tell us? I'm American. and just American. I have no need to list where my Ancestors came from. Along with most white people. You don't hear im English American, I'm French American, I'm Norwegian American, I'm german American. Why the need for the African in front of it? Why wouldn't you just want to be Americans? You would think if the African movement wanted equal everything and wanted to leave racial s**t behind them they'd just want to be considered Americans. As many of the other cultures that came here have.

370 days ago


Viet-man? That's some sloppy work right there TMZ, as usual. And it's a title you are quoting, so it's supposed to be "The Casualities of the War in Vietnam".

370 days ago


I too have a dream - a dream where Harvey stops accepting cash from Kris Jenner (tm) to post false stories about her idiot family.

370 days ago


One of MLK's sons is behind all the money-grubbing - we just had the 50th anniv. of the 'I Have a Dream' speech, and no one could play it without paying the King family. Very odd to have a historic event commemorated without any actual audio or video.

370 days ago
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