Sotheby’s Auction House will be canceling their June 30th planned sale of the King Collection. As reported in this article on CNN.com, the King children will receive an undisclosed amount of money from an anonymous group of people, and the King Collection will be housed at Morehouse College, King’s alma mater. The collection will be on display at Sotheby’s in New York until June 29, 2006.
So, it seems as if the City of Atlanta rose to the challenge issued by former Atlanta mayor Andrew Young, when he stated that Atlanta would be “…a cheap city if it does not come up with the enough money to keep that heritage here” when talking about the King Collection.
I’ve been following this story on the blog and you can see previous postings from June 9 and from June 11. There were comments about what should happen to the King Collection, and I was surprised that the King family didn’t originally leave the collection to Morehouse College or add it in as a part of the exhibits with the King Center. With the collection now slated to come back to Atlanta, that will extend the depth of King memorabilia in the city- which is his hometown- but it would also put a huge monopoly on access to this information. As it stands now, you can get the “all you need to know about Martin Luther King, Jr.” just by coming to Atlanta.
While it’s great that the city has a lot to offer in terms of information and history of Martin Luther King, for people who might never come to Atlanta, they could miss out. I’ll maintain that I would have loved for this to be a traveling exhibit- perhaps going around to different colleges and universities so that other people would have access to this information too. Not that I don’t think that Atlanta is a great place to have the information; it’s not that Atlantans aren’t appreciative and proud of the King Center and the other King memorabilia that exists in the city. However, I feel that the power of knowledge lies in the fact that it can enlighten others- and that happens when it is shared between individuals and institutions. I suppose I just want others outside of Atlanta and the South to see this information too. And yes, I do understand that this information, among other things, makes Atlanta marketable and draws in lots of tourists from other areas. Nevertheless, it wasn’t until the year 2000 when ALL 50 states celebrated the MLK Holiday, which implies that we still have some work to do on achieving King’s dream. And what better way to do that than by sharing the information within his collection with others?