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Students Hold Georgia School's 1st Racially Integrated Prom

Black and white students in Georgia’s rural Wilcox County danced together for the first time at prom over the weekend.

“I feel like we are living Martin Luther King’s dream,” NBC station WMGT 41 quoted student Alexis Miller as saying. Miller, who is white, attended Saturday’s event with her black boyfriend.

WMGT reported:

Racially segregated proms have been held in Wilcox County almost every year since the schools integrated in the 1970s. In a long-standing tradition, parents raised money to host separate dances, the community referred to one as the “black prom” and the other as the “white prom.” Traditionally, most students were welcome to the “black prom” but an unwritten rule kept students of different races from attending the “white prom.”

Wilcox County High School was quick to point out on its website that it hasn’t organized or hosted the segregated proms that have been traditional. It called the events “private parties” over which it “has no influence.”

Despite the students holding a prom designed to include everybody, CBS Atlanta News discovered the “white” prom still took place. It was held in Fitzgerald, Georgia, on April 20. No one confirmed it was a “white-only” event, but dozens of Caucasian kids, dressed in prom gowns and tuxes, attended. CBS Atlanta News never saw anyone of color the entire night.

Most of the attendees refused to talk to CBS Atlanta News. They, instead, ignored our questions or spoke angrily. “Lady, get out of my face,” snapped one father when asked why he was there.

Another father threatened to sue CBS Atlanta News, and yet another ordered them to turn-off their cameras.

 

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  • DEE

    Okay, but what did they really achieve here?
    I just went back and looked at the other article on this to make sure.

    “There’s a white prom and there’s an integrated prom,” said Keela.

    So what I’m getting from this is that most non-black people at this school didn’t care about white people being at their prom, but white students (probably more so parents) not wanting to have a prom with black students.

    So it’s still the same. White people can go wherever they want, while black people have no choice in which prom they want to go to. Though I’m pretty sure that no sane black person would want to show up at a dance deemed as the white prom.

    • Serita

      And if you suggest they read Peggy Macintosh “white privilege” they’ll swear there’s no such thing.

    • Tina

      This is long but worth the read if anyone is interested on the background as to why they still have integrated proms. A journalism student wrote about it for her master’s thesis.

      http://chereefranco.wordpress.com/2011/03/28/racially-segregated-proms-and-the-approach-of-another-prom-season/

      It boils down to the white adults fear that prom is the time when teens exploration of sex is heightened and even though they love black people they don’t want their children in interracial relationships. It also goes back to protecting “their women” as parents of boys express they don’t have to worry as much since they don’t have daughters. Bullying of anyone who is perceived as dating a black person is condoned by the adults. Even the local pastor and sheriff are open about their approval of segregation. Some of the attitudes are straight from the Jim Crow era.

  • So the black prom disappears like so many black business after intergtation and the white prom is still going strong. And the winner is…….

    • Mrs Assis

      The integrated prom for entering the millennium. Is that City of God in your profile pic?

    • Yes it’s from City of God, in my top ten of all time of foreign black movies.

  • Being subtle with your racism isn’t cool anymore. And all the questions about it were ignored? Like they know what they are doing is messed up and they can’t think up any excuse for it at all.

  • Marisa

    This really has become an amazing time of enlightenment in this country and by amazing I mean NOT REALLY. These attitudes keep getting passed down to the next generation so yes the slavery was over 150 years ago crew, our past does in fact follow us into the present and future. I admire the kids who went ahead with the integrated prom there is some hope for them, hopefully they use it as an opportunity to create real dialog on race in this country and not just OMG isn’t it cool we partied together. As for the all-white prom you all know the music they played were from black artist because isn’t that how it goes. They hate black people but, love poaching our music, style, slang etc funny how that works.

  • I’m from Mississippi and this is pretty standard. When I moved there when I was in 7th grade, I was informed that there was “private parties” and then everyone else could go to the integrated party held in the school cafeteria. During my senior year, my white friends went to the “private parties” and everyone else attended the integrated prom held at our school. Most of it, like one of the comments stated above, is really traditional white families who do not want their children to attend a prom with black people. The interesting part is, most of their proms would get closed down and they would get kicked out of the locations because they would get drunk and vandalize the properties. The way that most white students are informed about the parties, is the parents send private invitations in the mail to the white students in the school, which allows the school to stay “neutral,” disassociating themselves from the tradition and the scrutiny. My prom was segregated and it just taught me that we have a long way to go, plus having our prom in the school cafeteria, though fun with the students that did show us, was bittersweet.