Coretta Scott King: Civil Rights Activist: Legacy Edition by Dale Evva Gelfand

By Dale Evva Gelfand

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Store in Marion. The wedding was small, and Coretta opted for a pale-blue ankle-length gown rather than a traditional white one. Martin Sr. performed the wedding ceremony. At the request of his son and daughter-in-law, Daddy King omitted the traditional bride’s vow to “obey” her husband. The newlyweds spent their honeymoon in Alabama at a family friend’s home—which also happened to be a funeral parlor. The young couple had no other choice because blacks were not allowed to stay at white-owned hotels or motels.

She talked Mrs. Bartol into letting her help with the laundry for extra money. The New England Conservatory of Music was one of the top music schools in the United States. Studying there would give Coretta the chance to perfect her abilities as a concert singer in a professional setting. She hoped someday to perform with orchestras and other ensembles. Coretta was one of no more than 20 black students at the conservatory, however, and the only black living on her block in Beacon Hill. Although the social isolation was difficult, Coretta was able to handle it gracefully—thanks to her years at Antioch.

For southern blacks, higher education was the route to personal and professional prosperity, and northern institutions were deemed places where people of color could fulfill their academic promise free from the limitations and sorrows of racial discrimination. Obadiah and Bernice hoped that a college education and a chance to establish roots in the North would ensure a better life for Edythe. Once settled at school, Edythe wrote occasional letters to Coretta, who read them with wide-eyed wonder.

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