Adeline Erwin, Judy’s mother, was an African American school girl in the 1930’s. She felt like she didn’t belong. In those days, elementary schools were segregated, but high school was not. Adeline felt awkward walking the halls of her Topeka Kansas, the capital of the state, which in 1954 would become world renowned for the Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka. This is the Supreme Court case that officially ended segregation of schools in the U.S high school. She was taller than her peers and the target of racism from students and teachers. But her choir teacher saw beyond Adeline’s appearance. She saw the gift of music beaming from Adeline’s spirit.