The Reverend Martin Luther (Daddy) King, Sr., now 80, recounts (with writer Riley) his remarkable life, an inspiring rags-to-riches all-American story with a difference. Oldest son of a hard-drinking, embittered Georgia sharecropper, young ""Mike"" King, a teenage itinerant Baptist preacher, resolved not to follow his father. Illiterate at 21, he entered fifth grade in Atlanta and years later persuaded More-house College to admit him though he couldn't pass the entrance exams. With the same determination he courted Alberta Williams for six years, made his own way in the ministry, then assumed leadership of Ebenezar Church (""the mother church of the civil rights movement"") at the death of the Rev. A. D. Williams, his father-in-law and mentor in agitation. King describes voter registration drives of the 1920s and '30s, and an eleven-year fight for equal pay for black teachers: early stages of the movement Martin Luther King, Jr., came to head. He discusses that emerging church-based black coalition and the patient, fruitless wait for white leadership against segregation to come forward, King's faith and courage (""love in action"") bring about changes for Atlanta and the nation, but he loses a son to an assassin (King, Jr., told his parents he would soon be killed; King, Sr., believes the FBI worked more with Ray than against him). His second son dies a suicide, and his wife is shot down in church. King concludes: ""As long as an idea lives, we are all still alive."" A thundering story, simply told.