ivory towers and golden showers--arts + culture, high/low and the places in between.
p. 124 Cone, Martin & Malcolm & America in the chapter "We must love our white brothers." MLK Jr.'s disillusionment and ditching of academic chatter after a literal N- wake-up call:Shortly after midnight, just home from a steering committee meeting of the boycott, King got a telephone call. "N*****," the voice said, "we are tired of you and your mess now, and if you are not out of this town in three days, we're going to blow your brains out and blow up your house." Though he had received many similar threats (about forty daily), for some reason that stunned him, preventing him from going to sleep. He began to realize that his wife and newly born baby daughter could be taken from him or he from them at any moment. He went to the kitchen, "thinking that coffee would give me a little relief." In the midst of one of the agonizing experiences of his life, King searched for a place where he could stand. "Rationality left me," he remembered. "I started thinking about many things. I pulled back on the theology and philosophy that I had just studied in the universities, trying to give philosophical and theological reasons for the existence and reality of evil, but the answer didn't quite come there." Unable to cope with his frustration and despair, King turned to the God of the black experience that he had been taught about as a child..."And i prayed out loud that night. I said, "Lord, I'm down here trying to do what's right. I think I'm right. I think the cause that we represent is right. But Lord, I must confess that I'm faltering, I'm losing my courage, and I can't let the people see me like this because if they see me weak and losing my courage they will begin to get weak."It was in the midst of this crisis of faith that King experienced a heavy burden being lifted from his shoulders, and he felt the liberating presence of God as never before. "Almost out of nowhere I heard a voice," he said. "martin Luther, stand up for righteousness. Stand up for justice. Stand up for truth. And lo, I will be with you, even until the end of the world." After that experience, he said, "I was ready to face anything."