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When Coretta got home, she wasn’t sure what to think. Marriage? She and Martin had just met! Coretta was in no rush to start a romance. In her personal affairs, Coretta had 39 40 CORETTA SCOTT KING always been selective and cautious, so she was unsure about starting a relationship—especially a serious one that could lead to marriage—with Martin. Her music studies and future career came before any personal commitments. “I had thought myself in love before, but things did not work out, and I had resolved not to become emotionally entangled again until I was absolutely certain,” she later remembered.
The tradition that Coretta, Martin, and hundreds of thousands of other southern blacks had grown up with— separate schools for each race—was now illegal. The court’s decision was the first step in ending racial segregation throughout the country, although the effect was felt primarily in the South. 48 The Winds of Change Brown v. Board of Education was a huge moral and social victory for southern blacks. S. Constitution, which guarantees all Americans equal protection under the law, regardless of race.
Coretta overcame academic obstacles and blossomed into a professional singer. She also deepened her Christian commitment to helping others through community service. Coretta also faced a deceptive form of racial prejudice and cowardice that spoiled the lives of many blacks who lived in the North. Unlike the blatant racism of the South, Northern discrimination was often subtly disguised by social customs and public policies—even among people who professed liberal attitudes toward blacks. Coretta had staunchly refused to date the one black man in her college class—mainly because other Antioch students automatically saw him as her ideal escort simply because of his race.