A Town In Georgia Separates Prom Night By Race
There is a town in Wilcox County, Georgia, that holds two separate proms every year. There is a prom for white students, and a separate prom for non-white students. According to some people that were born and raised in this town, it has been like that since as long as they can remember. I think it is hard for most of us to wrap our heads around if you are like me, from schools that held one prom for everybody to attend.
Wilcox County High School also holds separate homecoming dances. These students go to school together every day, and participate in sports together, but are not allowed to socialize together. The proms are financed and organized by parents and students, not the school districts so they are considered private events. This is no different than you giving a party, and of course, you have the right to invite whoever you like to your party. I think of prom night and I think of all of my friends white and black, that I went to school with all year, and the thought that we would have to attend separate proms because of race seems archaic.
In 2012, a bi-racial student tried to attend the white prom and was escorted out by police. You have to wonder, who are these parents that would encourage their children to adhere to such racist beliefs? One could understand the negative feelings some might have with interracial dating or mixing of the races, but eventually these same children will enter the REAL world. In the real world, they will have to work in workplaces that have people from many different diverse backgrounds. At some point these children will be faced with having to interact with people of other races, so these parents are really doing a disservice to their children in the long run.
This year in Wilcox County, there is a group of students who have come together to have an integrated prom that every race is welcome to attend. They put their story on a Facebook page, and asked for donations to help them to have their integrated prom. Within a week they had achieved their goal for the funds to have their integrated prom donated from people around the world. They have faced some opposition from those in the town that feel separate proms are a tradition that shouldn’t be changed, but they have also received a lot of support from people who also feel it is time to break this tradition of separate proms.
We wonder why racism still exists in 2013, but it is stories like these that show you how there are still some very deep-seated roots of racism in our country. It is refreshing to see that there are young people out there willing to make a change and make a difference. We can only hope that the integrated prom in Wilcox County will continue for many years to come.
Another note to this story is that the school decided to have one homecoming king and queen this year. The homecoming queen was black and the homecoming king was white, however, the homecoming queen was not invited to the homecoming dance, and the homecoming king and queen took separate pictures for the yearbook. I guess the fact that they had a black homecoming queen is progress, but only time will tell if progress continues to be made in this town.