Tyrone Brooks To Senate: Ignore News Reports And Fast-track MLK Statue

Representative Tyrone Brooks took to the House well this morning to address a letter sent by the King Family to the governor, asserting their right to approve any statue to honor the late Martin Luther King.  The matter was covered here by Jim Galloway.

Representative Brooks spoke of the timeline when the legislation was conceived, consensus built, and legislation passed.  He specifically noted support from Martin Luther King III and Bernice King along the way, along with Rev. Joseph Lowery.

I was in the House Chamber the morning the legislation passed.  The speakers, Black and White, Republican and Democrat, represented what Rev. Lowery told Rep. Brooks.  This is a new day in Georgia.

It is incredibly disappointing to see the King family interject themselves in a way that could create hesitancy in a Senate vote.  Rep. Brooks understands that, and conveyed a strong message to the Senate to ignore the noise and pass the bill.

On this one, he’s absolutely right.


  1. Jane says:

    It is a good bi-partisan, bi-racial deal. If it becomes a issue that divides the state, it may not be built in a timely manner.

  2. saltycracker says:

    Apparently we missed some opportunities of understanding when spending millions in the past to honor him and buy some of his stuff and there is not clarity that gives the people certain liberties in these circumstances.

    While the vast majority of Georgians believe the Estate of MLK has a tendency to sully what the legislators/people would like to do to honor him, aren’t we being a bit presumptuous to trump the estates control via the law of MLK’s intellectual properties and our routine/inept revisitations ?

    The family is certainly advantaging our bumbling. I hope I missed something and the opposition letters are a nuisance that no judge would touch.

  3. Bloodhound says:

    There is a huge, Federally funded memorial to Rev. King, that covers a great deal of real estate, just a few blocks from the Capitol.

    That was my first thought when I heard of the effort to place another memorial on the Capital grounds, but then I thought, what the heck, just go ahead and put up a statue. It’s no big deal considering it was to be privately funded.

    Now, that the family of hyenas has determined that they can’t sell the good Reverend’s Bible and Peace Prize, they are looking for fresh meat.

    When children behave in a disrespectful manner, it is vitally important that you send a sharp and effective message in order to form them into better citizens.

    Kill the bill so that Dexter, Marty & Bernice may become better citizens. To allow them to continue to blackmail Georgia is obscene!

  4. Michael Silver says:

    When all this is done, Georgia will end up paying tribute on the order of a couple million $.

    There are other worthy Georgians that deserve to be honored. How about Tunis Campbell?


    In 1867 Congress ordered a further Reconstruction of the South. As vice president of the Republican Party in Georgia, Campbell worked to register voters before being elected as a justice of the peace, a delegate to the state constitutional convention, and a state senator from the Second Senatorial District (Liberty, McIntosh, and Tattnall counties). In the legislature Campbell pushed for laws for equal education, integrated jury boxes, homestead exemptions, abolishment of imprisonment for debt, open access to public facilities, and fair voting procedures. As a justice of the peace, minister, and political boss, Campbell organized a black power structure in McIntosh County that protected freed people from white abuses, whether against their bodies or in labor negotiations. He headed a 300-strong African American militia that guarded him from reprisals by the Ku Klux Klan or others, even though his home was burned, he was poisoned, and his family lived in constant fear.

    After Democrats regained state power in 1871 by forcing Republican Governor Rufus Bullock to flee the state, they began a concerted effort to overturn Reconstruction. Campbell’s seat was taken, and a series of lawsuits kept him in legal trouble. He traveled to Washington, D.C., where he met with U.S. president Ulysses S. Grant and Senator Charles Sumner to urge that the government intervene actively to save Reconstruction. Finally, in 1876, while the U.S. attorney general tried to free him, Campbell was convicted of malfeasance in office, taken from a Savannah jail, handcuffed, chained, and leased out for one year to a convict labor camp. Upon release he went immediately to Washington to meet with U.S. president Rutherford B. Hayes and wrote a small book, Sufferings of the Reverend T. G. Campbell and His Family in Georgia (1877). He died in Boston on December 4, 1891.

  5. objective says:

    I think this boils down to details. For instance, if the statue is going to include a quote from a King speech, that would bring up intellectual property rights issues. My legal knowledge of regarding a public display is less clear. But as a public figure, I’d think King actually enjoys less intellectual property rights protection against use of the name and likeness, especially when the use of that is public education.
    Seems like a fair issue for discussion, and a simple series of discussion should resolve it easilty to everyone’s saitsifaction. No need to stop the arc of history.

  6. The Comma Guy says:

    The King estate owns all rights to King’s “name, image, likeness, words, rights of publicity, copyrighted works, recorded voice, and trademark interests.”

    So it’s not just Dr. King’s words that the family claims an ownership right. It’s his name and likeness as well. So merely invoking his name requires approval from the family. (Does this mean that they have approved all the cities and towns with a MLK Street?) Disappointing that on a day when a very fractured state joined together as one to do something greater than themselves, this happens.

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