By Spencer B. King III
Last September, Andrew Young, former mayor of Atlanta, gave the keynote address kicking off the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the integration of Mercer University, highlighting his belief that Southern liberal arts institutions like Mercer had a great influence on the Civil Rights movement. Sharing the day with one of my Mercer classmates, the Rev. Bill Willis, spurred memories of my first encounter with Andrew Young.
On April 9, 1968, I received a call from Bill, who asked if I could leave my duties as a medical resident at Emory University to provide transportation from the airport to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s funeral. I picked up Bill, and to my surprise, Michigan Gov. George Romney and James Cavanaugh, mayor of Detroit. I felt out of place as I sat in Wheat Street Church next to Roy Wilkins, head of the NAACP, and observed the organization of celebrities who would be escorted through the crowd to the service at Ebenezer Church.