The Supreme Court decision outlawing segregation in the public schools stirred the heart of every Southerner—with fear, with rage, or with hope, depending upon color and persuasion. Legally, the edict is the logical conclusion of a series of more limited rulings which ended racial restrictions in voting, transportation, and higher education. But emotionally, no precedent exists in modern Southern society for the sustained association of white and Negro on equal terms that compliance with the court will require. In the mind of the bigoted white, intermarriage looms as the result of integrated education. The less naive and more calculating white sees himself paying more school taxes but gaining less preferment for his children. The Negro, whatever his station in life, envisions countless benefits for his posterity and feels a strong sense of duty to claim them.
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