In the town of Rochelle, Georgia a group of students are attempting to defy the racist standards that are still intact, by holding the school’s first integrated prom. You would think things like this wouldn’t go on in “post-racial” America, but at Wilcox County High School, there is one prom for black students and another for white students. Hoods and nooses optional:
Stephanie and Keela are white and Mareshia and Quanesha are black. They’re seniors at Wilcox County High School, a school that has never held an integrated prom during its existence.
“There’s a white prom and there’s an integrated prom,” said Keela.
The rule is strictly enforced, any race other than Caucasian wouldn’t dare to attend the white prom.
“They would probably have the police come out there and escort them off the premises,” said Keela. That was the case just last year as a biracial student was turned away by police.
There will still be two proms this year. Neither proms are financed by or allowed to take place at Wilcox County High School. The students said that when they pushed for one prom, the school offered a resolution to permit an integrated prom that would allow all students to attend but not stop segregated proms.
Homecoming is also segregated. Normally, there would be a court for each race, but for the first time the school decided to elect only one homecoming court, Quanesha won. But there were still two separate dances.
“I felt like there had to be a change,” said Quanesha. “For me to be a black person and the king to be a white person, I felt like why can’t we come together.”
Quanesha wasn’t invited to the white homecoming. In fact, the pair took separate pictures for the school yearbook.
“When people around here are set in their ways, they are not to adamant to change,” said Marishia.
Of course there are always people not down for the swirl prom. The students said that many of their posters have been torn down by students who are just fine with with the Jim Crow mask. The school is also not helping the cause, because it hasn’t intervened with the parents who set up the segregated proms. Without funding, the integrated prom isn’t possible, so the four students set up a Facebook page to accept donations.
If the students are successful in securing funding for an integrated prom, Wilcox County High School will have 3 separate proms. One for the white students, one for the black students and one for the students who just want to celebrate their senior year with their friends of both races.