First note in my imaging of Coretta Scott King was on the old Dick Cavet show.
"I am really a singer," she said, gazing demurely at Dick Cavet.
I told that to Norman, and he laughed, said, I know just the tune. An old civil rights classic, "Abraham, Martin, and John."
"Has anybody seen my old friend Martin?
Can you tell me where he's gone?"
Next I heard she wouldn't allow the State tours into the King museum house until they paid her something. Then she tried to copyright the I Have A Dream speech. Then she and the family made an extremely lucrative deal with Warner or Time Warner for various books and projects, none of which I guess they ever produced.
Then she looked around, saw how the Kennedys lay down. Figured "conspiracy" was a good selling point. After all, Miss Jackie's early comment after losing her husband was, "He didn't even die for civil rights; it was just some silly little communist."
So the King family began talking up Conspiracy Theory Inc. James Earl Ray, he didn't do it. One of the sons kissing up to James Earl, the one who had killed his father, in his cell.
That's the way to build a brand.
It isn't absolutely certain venality was all there was to the marketing plan. Maybe stupidity played a hand. It usually does in Conspiracy Theory Inc.
Coretta Scott King
Handgrenades, Horseshoes, and Honors