Georgia Students Want Integrated Prom

by Yesha Callahan

georgia-first-integrated-prom.si_

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.

The prom isn’t the only segregated event at Wilcox County High School:

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.

  • Sasha

    I haven’t said this since like 1999 but YOU GO GIRL’S!!! Definitely heading over to donate to this cause. How is this not illegal? Guess because it’s privately funded but still it doesn’t sound right.

  • AJ

    DAMN

  • http://www.urbanexpressive.com J. Nicole

    Wow! So the school is OK with having upwards of 3 proms- so long as they can have their all white one!?
    And to think, I’ve heard it all. There’s always something that surprises me. The NYer in me is like “Just move out of that hick town”, I don’t see things changing anytime soon since racists pass down their ignorance as tradition. I hope it works out for them.

  • Keshia

    Wasn’t there a lifetime movie that dealt with this issue? Just goes to show we’re not so “post racial” America after all.

  • Marisa

    Good of the kids to be the ones to take action because its clear the adults in the room are stuck on ass backwards. We are in the second decade of the 2000′s and there are still these segregated things going on in this country. So once again disproves the lame all the racism is over because slavery ended over 100 years ago/there is a black President argument that is always made. I’m telling you if this country truly wants to get out of its own way and actually evolve there needs to be an honest discussion about race including the long existing racist policies that continue to exist.

    Which continues to have the past follow us into the present and the future but, we also have to just accept the fact there are those who don’t want to evolve race wise and frankly that’s on them. Also notice how the bi-racial kid was turned away once again proving another notion that some still believe in that one drop rule, even with having one white parent wasn’t enough for them.

  • Bells&Whistles

    How on earth is that legal???

  • Dee

    This is absolutely ridiculous. Is black skin such a threat to you that kids can’t have just one prom.

    A white prom and an integrated prom, it’s so sad that we live in a world where we can’t even imagine racism not effecting us in our life time, heck I can’t even imagine it ever happening.

  • Treece

    Good for those girls for taking it upon themselves to make the change! This is one of the many examples of why I can’t stand when people try to assert that we live in a “post-racial America” or that racism doesn’t really exist anymore. It’s right in front of your face every single day but people refuse to see it, so it continues b/c nobody speaks up due to thier belief that we live in a “post-racial America”………. Sickening

  • LeAnna

    It’s sad, but this really isn’t surprising. I am from Georgia (suburbs of Atlanta). Whenever I traveled into South Georgia everyone said be careful of the cops down that way.

    There is actually a lifetime movie, “For One Night” about Taylor County (GA) High School first integrated prom in 2002.

    I know that we think that all of America is integrated, but these little pockets of the U.S. have their own ways. I live in Knoxville, TN now and while the people are friendly, the mentality here is like 1970′s or even the 60′s. It’s sad.

  • Liz

    “Racist white people’s identity and self-worth is hinged on black degeneracy. They don’t know any other way to relate to black people except seeing us as inferior. These type of people measure their success by your failure. And any gains or success that black people have is rationalized away as either a handout from the government or criminal activity.”

    deep

  • Misty_Moonsilver

    This HAS to be a joke! Isn’t it illegal? I’m stunned.

  • http://gravatar.com/nolakiss16 binks

    Post-racial America…There is no glass ceiling… Obama is in office… Everybody is mixed anyway so race doesn’t matter… The browning of America has change things…mmmm Are there anymore lies and excuses we can tell before calling bullsh*t. SMH…honestly I am not surprised but kudos to these young ladies for trying to change things. Trying and taking action is better than sitting and wishing you could have done something!

  • Woro208

    I definitely support having integrated proms, but let me play Devil’s Advocate here. My prom in 2008 was integrated, but you could clearly tell by looking at the dance floor that most preferred to only associate with their own races. The prom might as well have been segregated because there were black people on one side of the room and whites on the other side. Although I interacted with white people and a few other blacks did as well, most of the black people there did not interact with the whites and vice versa. In my opinion, segregation whether it be at prom or in any other social setting is wrong, but many say they want desegregation when in reality their actions show they prefer to be segregated.

  • http://www.thinkaboutit-knowaboutit.com/ Danté

    Y’all didn’t see “Prom Night in Mississippi?”

    I’m really not surprised that this is still going on. I think it’s sad that people are so unwilling to come together as one people. Poor whites and poor blacks have been led to believe that they are each other’s enemies; meanwhile, the rich white folk who run sh*t are looking at all of us poor folk like trash, regardless of race.

    But back to the point, while it’s sad that this is going on, if this is what the people want, it’s what they want. I for one would rather attend a segregated prom than attend an integrated prom with bitter racist white folk. Forced integration will only cause more problems than it is intended to solve. That’s exactly what happened in “Prom Night in Mississippi.” There were people who attended the integrated prom, but a lot of the parents of the white kids (and the kids themselves) refused to partake in it. It is unfortunate, but it is reality.

  • CocobeanCool

    i thought they were the moms of the children in front.

  • http://www.dawnthescreenwriter.com ScriptTease

    Seriously… how many of these white folks would rather have a prom with just white faces? It’s evident some of the white folks would like a Integrated prom, so let those racist mofo’s do their own thing, and you have your prom, and for the ones who don’t want to attend, F’k um’. This is America, and one day those ignorant fools will get left behind because this world is evolving with or without them. How are we living in a world where technology is constantly advancing, but peoples way of thinking seems to be going backwards. This make no sense to me. Anyone under age 25 who has this ignorant mentality need all their damn rights taken from them as well as their parents whose contributing to this ignorance. SMFH

  • E

    Whoa!

    As a Black Georgian from the Atlanta area, I just want people to know that Rochelle GA doesn’t represent the whole state and to generalize the whole state because of one town is an inaccurate depiction of my state.

    I grew up in a mostly White community, went to mixed schools. My high school was intergrated.All I knew was pure diversity. I have never EVER went to a segregated prom.Many of the school here, whether Black or White don’t have those kids of proms. Even in some of these small towns, you’ll be surprised how progressive some of them are. My mom is from a small Southwest Georgia town.. People would think that its conservative,but it’s more liberal. Ive been going down there since birth and Im in my 40s. So far, never experience an once of racism being there and the natives were friendly. Blacks, Whites and now Latinos and Asians intermingling with each other. Some to the point where they date, married and/or have kids( ought to know, my older cousin is a grandmother to a half-Latino, Half- White kids).. I never seen any cross burnings there because of it.

    I also had a cousin that recently graduated from high school. She went to one of the three high schools there.. and all three are mixed or White…Black , White, Asian, Latino and mixed kids were ready to receive their diplomas. All of these parents were intermingling with each other congratulating each other for a job well done. .Besides her graduation, she went to her prom…with a White guy. Their homecoming king was White and their queen was Black..and yes the homecoming was integrated and they took pictures together and the superlatives? the Most Attractive Guy was White, the most Attractive girl was Black. I feel so great about this town that I thought about moving there . Im also beginning to see people from other states and cities moving there. It must not be that bad of a town to see big city non Southern and foreign people moving.

    Yes, to pretend that my state doesn’t have any racism in it would be a lie,but for people to make it seem that it’s only a Southern problem is equally was wrong. Racism and segregation is more prevalent than people realize and it’s not always in the South. There was an incident in 1991 about a segregated prom in Chicago (www.nytimes.com)) No the parents didn’t pay for it,but if I read right,some of the students segregated themselves because they couldn’t decide what kind of music they wanted played at the prom. In 2011 a Black family was chased from a White Yorba Linda, Ca community ( From the San ClementePatch, ) community or that the most racist place to be isn’t a Southern State(www.prb.org). and California having the most hate groups in the nation ( Southern Poverty Law Center)Racism have always been in the states since it was called America and the South wasn’t the only region to experience it. No matter how much race based incidents take place in those places, people will never be afraid of going there or calling it racist, yet one small town out of 159 counties in Georgia and the whole state is racist..Wow! so not right.

    Im just sick and tired of people referring to my state as ” backwards” ” dumb” or “unsophisticated” . I’ll tell you what. Ive been out of the South as well as in it. Some of those ” enlightened” non Southern places are no more integrated than Rochelle Ga. At least there are two Black girls and two White girls who want to do something about their segregation. You have people who seem to think that integration is about having different races of people and nothing else. Ive been to some of these places where people were racially clannish,but see it as “progress” and some places where just as White as how I grew up and in some instances you had pockets of racism and stenches of racism. In some of these places, I smelled the stench of racism in them to the point that I didn’t want to be there. I bet that if I went to small town California, New York or Maryland, I will find some of the same problems..not necessarily for segregated proms,but racism in those places. I already got enough of that in small town Maryland to know that it is there.

    One more thing: because of this, some of the White kids are scooting to the integrated prom.Media didn’t tell people that.

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