Unbelievable! High school in Georgia bars black students from “white prom”!
My calendar says it’s 2013. But THIS STORY suggests that it’s still the 1950s in Rochelle, Ga.:
They share the classroom, the football field, and the baseball diamond, but the school is still holding on to a vestige of this country’s darkest days of segregation.
“We’re embarrassed, it’s embarrassing,” exclaimed Stephanie Sinnot, Mareshia Rucker, Quanesha Wallace, and Keela Bloodworth.
The group has been friends since the 4th grade and they say they do everything together, except prom night.
“We are all friends,” said Stephanie. “That’s just kind of not right that we can’t go to prom together.”
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. It’s been that way for as long as anyone can remember and it doesn’t stop at prom. 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.
UPDATE: There’s more about this HERE:
Since the school won’t stand up to the parental groups that organize the segregated proms, the high school seniors have launched a fundraiser to start their own integrated prom on April 27. But they are facing opposition from more “tradition-bound” classmates; the girls reported putting up posters for an integrated prom at school, only to have them ripped down. Their Facebook page, however, is raising enthusiasm (and money) from all over the country.
Though black and white Wilcox students share other aspects of school space, like classrooms and sports fields, there are many unspoken divisions straight out of the pre-civil rights era. According to a feature on WCHS, white students sit in the back during class, while black kids sit in front. Black kids have lunch outside while white kids have theirs in the yard. White students — particularly girls — who date black students risk being ostracized and bullied.
Wilcox may be a rare holdover of a bygone era, but segregated proms have lasted well past Jim Crow. A nearby school in Taylor County only desegregated their prom in 2002 through the efforts of one young woman. Even so, some juniors held their own white prom separate from the integrated prom. Another school in Charleston, Georgia attracted national attention in 2009 for its segregated prom.