Georgia high school holds first integrated prom

Students from Wilcox County High School who are fighting to have an integrated prom. (Screengrab from a video by WSAV) Students from Wilcox County High School who pushed for their school’s first integrated prom. (Screengrab from a video by WSAV)

They did it. A small group of students in Georgia staged their high school’s first integrated prom, breaking a long-time tradition of two segregated proms — for blacks and whites. And it was a big success.

It seems hard to believe that segregated proms would be tolerated in this day and age, but that’s what was going to happen again this spring until a small group of black and white students who have been friends since childhood decided to push for an integrated prom for the Wilcox County High School community.

They ran into some resistance but prevailed in the end, and the event was held this past weekend at the Cordele Community Clubhouse in Crisp County, according to this story from Channel 13WMAZ.

Turnout was high, the station reported, and many white students did not attend last week’s prom exclusively for white students and attended the integrated dance instead.  There were limousines, ball gowns, tuxedos and disc jockeys from Texas and Atlanta.

The students who planned the prom — which was off campus because the school doesn’t sponsor any prom — had set up a Facebook page asking for help, and they raised enough money to not only stage the event but also donate some to fund scholarships, Channel 13 said.

Here’s a video on the prom from WMAZ:

Valerie Strauss covers education and runs The Answer Sheet blog.

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Valerie Strauss · April 29, 2013