3. Coming Up 1 There was born in Atlanta, a pastor's son on January 15th in 1929; one raised up by a father who could not stand the bigotry and segregation he saw in the land. 2 He was a fighter and his son became one who hated injustice the same. They called him Michael Lewis until he was grown, when he took his father's name as his own. 3 One day as young Martin rode in the car, Reverend King accidentally drove too far through a stop sign and a policeman told him to pull his car over, and 4 then he said to the Reverend, "All right, boy, let me see you license." "This is a boy," Revered King responded, pointing to his son, "I am a man, and until you call me one, 5 I will not listen to you." And, surprised, the policeman wrote the ticket and left more wise. But this was the way young Martin was raised, and it would show in his adult days. 6 As a child, segregation he came to know and saw the violence which would grow out of it -- he saw the Klan ride at night to deal with anyone who might try to fight. 7 In school, young King was brilliantly keen. He skipped two grades, and when he was fifteen he entered Morehouse College. He wasn't sure then what he wanted to be when his studies would end. 8 He did know he wanted to help, in some way, his people, but he did feel in those days that religion was out of touch with the needs and problems of his people. For a time, indeed, 9 he thought that he would study the law. But in two of his teachers at Morehouse, he saw ministers who showed him that religion could be concerned about things like segregation and poverty. He learned 10 thus, that it was a minister he wanted to be. He became his father's assistant, and then he graduated from Morehouse when he was nineteen. Perhaps he would do something about the world he had seen. 11 But young Martin wanted to study even more and he entered a Pennsylvania school for religious training where there were only six black members of the student body. 12 Martin's mother had always told him that he was as good as anyone, and so it was he worked hard to prove it -- he excelled greatly, winning his doctorate with honors -- cum laude. 13 All this while, he pondered just how he might contribute to his people in their great fight to throw off the shackles and oppression weighlay. Young Martin was beginning to see a way. 4. Finding a Way 1 In college, Martin had read an essay by one eccentric named Thoreau in which he did say that a man had the right to disobey any law that was evil or unjust or against moral law. 2 Henry David Thoreau at one time did not pay his taxes as a protest against the way the country permitted slavery and had waged the war against Mexico -- his soul was enraged. 3 For this transgression, he was put in jail. When friends came to visit him, Henry would tell them to their queries as to why he was there, "What are you doing out of jail?" he'd answer. 4 King read about Marx and his revolution, but rejected his world without God, and in sum, rejected the idea he expressed about man, without free will, an animal -- Marx did not understand. 5 But in his quest, he one day heard a speech by the great leader of India, Gandhi, which reached deep in his soul -- for Gandhi had won freedom for his country from England without guns. 6 From the start he told his people not to resort to violence, but to resist them by all sorts of peaceful means. They would march or strike or boycott or sit-down in order to fight. 7 Like Thoreau, he believed that men should gladly go to jail when they break unjust laws, and so he said, "Fill the jails." Violence would bring only more hate and violence issuing. 8 Gandhi told his people to meet body force with soul force. And he told them, in course, to meet hate with love. And India gained, with his help, freedom. Could King do the same? 9 He would reject Gandhi's bias against machines, but wasn't his nonviolence just what Jesus means when he tells his people to turn the other cheek if someone strikes you? That's not being weak. 10 No, King would say, it would take even more courage to do that than to hit back -- he was sure. This idea of nonviolence would permeate his life. When he graduated, he made Coretta Scott his wife. 11 Then he became minister of a church in Montgomery in Alabama, the job he had wanted to see. King's life now was busy and full, but his goal was to do much more than care for members' souls. 12 He wanted his church to help the young go to school and register black people to vote. King said his rule of religion was to care about heaven and earth; both souls and slums -- about a man's worth. 13 His congregation liked his ideas and ways and put them in action, and grew day by day. Meanwhile, he studied for another degree; very soon, Dr. King is what he would be. Continue