Georgia on my mind.Posted: May 1, 2013
The other day I read this story about an American high school having a prom.
Big whoop, right? Every American high school has a prom, and being a lover of teen movies I’ve seen dozens of fictional ones. But this prom was historic.
Why? Was it the first same sex prom king and queen? Was it under water? In space?
No, the reason Wilcox County High School’s 2013 prom was different because it was the first racially integrated prom in the school’s history.
I’ll say that again- first racially integrated prom. In 2013.
That’s almost 60 years after segregation was made illegal in the US.
Now, apparently because the proms are organized and funded privately by parents meaning that they don’t have to conform to the law unlike when the school organizes the prom.
This year four friends, Stephanie Sinnot, Mareisha Rucker, Quanesha Wallace and Keela Bloodworth, decided that enough was enough and it was time for a change.
The four friends decided that prom would be better if all their friends could attend, and so took to Facebook to get support for an integrated prom. It quickly gained momentum and the dance went underway, under the banner of “Love Has No Colour”.
This story caused two conflicting emotions in me. Firstly, I felt a great deal of respect and admiration for the four girls who got the ball rolling and organized this prom. And happy for the couples who got to take their partners to the dance and enjoy with all their classmates.
It’s 2013! It’s hard not to read this and be a little bit depressed and annoyed by the people of Wilcox County.
I mean, I can maybe, maybe, forgive the first couple of classes of kids, being product of their time and under pressure from their parents. It was still wrong, but in their circumstances But almost 60 classes before someone stands up for a mixed prom? Shame on you classes of the noughties, nineties, eighties, seventies and sixties. And shame on your parents, and your parents’ parents.
The fact that nobody stepped up before now is rather disgusting. Worse yet, while an integrated prom did go ahead there was also a whites only dance organized by parents.
It’s sad that over half a century later the same old prejudices are continued, and that they’re able to exploit a legal loophole to continue this divisive practice.
Thankfully the school does appear to be willing to enact a change in 2014 about how the proms are run. It might be long overdue, but at least it’s a step in the right direction.
Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.