Syracuse University: to return or not to return?

From a Syracuse new article (Glenn Coin / The Post-Standard):

Sitting in his hotel room in Saudi Arabia in April 1964, civil rights activist Malcolm X penned a letter on hotel stationery to his friend and co-author, Alex Haley.

….

Ten months later, Malcolm X was assassinated in New York City. The letter – considered by many historians to capture a watershed moment in Malcolm X’s life and philosophy, became part of “The Autobiography of Malcolm X,” which Haley co-wrote and Grove Press published in 1965. Four years later, Grove’s owner agreed to give his company’s files – including that letter — to Syracuse University, where they sit today on the sixth floor of Bird Library.

Now, Haley’s son wants that letter back. A rare documents dealer working with William Haley says the letter is worth $250,000 and has demanded SU turn it over. A lawyer for William Haley says said it rightfully belongs to Haley and his two sisters.

Who’s in the right here? Was Barney Rosset, the Grove Press Representative that gave the collection to SU years ago, legally allowed to give that letter to the archives in the first place? Will SU’s legal paperwork hold up in court and maintain their sole ownership?

Read the full article here.

Still not convinced either way? I’ll try to keep an eye out on any further progress.

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