ATLANTA (AP) — The National Museum of African American History and Culture opens in Washington this weekend aiming to tell the story of black people in the U.S., yet visitors will find few personal mementos from one of the most famous and influential black Americans, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
King is certainly there in photos and film clips. His fraternity membership card and posthumously awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom are there, along with a bucket he’s said to have soaked his feet in during the civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery.
But there are none of his hand-scrawled speeches and notes, well-worn suits or personal keepsakes. King’s estate, controlled by his three surviving children, owns and controls much of the slain civil rights leader’s memorabilia.
The museum, part of the Smithsonian, didn’t respond to repeated requests from The Associated Press for comment for this story. Museum director Lonnie Bunch told The Washington Post (http://wapo.st/2cvvu0k) the institution wants things it can keep rather than loaned items.