Wilcox County High School Segregated Prom Proves Racism Will Never Fully Die (participation)

Wilcox County High School Segregated Prom Proves Racism Will Never Fully Die

source: http://www.policymic.com/articles/33623/wilcox-county-high-school-segregated-prom-proves-rac…

After the election of Obama to the White House, millennials seemed to breathe a collective sigh of relief. We now live in a post-racial society now, right, guys? Right? We never have to talk about racism ever again!

In certain rural pockets of the Deep South, black and white students can use the same drinking fountains, attend school together, and even socialize with each other, but cannot go to prom together. In Wilcox County, Georgia, a group of female friends, some of whom are white, some of whom are black, are not only voicing their dissent about not being able to attend prom together, but they’re doing something about it. These friends are in the midst of organizing the first interracial prom in the school’s history, and its Facebook page reached over 19,000 likes in five days. Said the girls in an interview with local news: “We’re embarrassed, it’s embarrassing, yeah it’s kind of embarrassing.” The girls, Stephanie Sinnot, Mareshia Rucker, Quanesha Wallace, and Keela Bloodworth, don’t see why prom should be different from anything else they do together.

This is not the first time an integrated prom in the South has made headlines. In 2002, in Taylor County, Georgia, a local high school attracted media attention for holding its first racially integrated prom. Three years later, the story was depicted in a Lifetime movie starring Raven Symone called For One Night. In 2009, the New York Times magazine ran a profile of the tradition of a high school that traditionally had segregated proms. In 1997, Morgan Freeman offered to fund a racially integrated prom in Charleston, Mississippi, but the school didn’t take him up on his offer until nearly ten years later.

Technically, this prom is not organized by the school, but is two privately funded parties, one for whites, one for blacks. Still, the school officials allow such a practice to continue. On the Facebook page the girls created in favor of an integrated prom, the most interesting comment I came across was left by a young black male opposed to the integrated prom. He wrote:

“I don’t see why it’s such a big deal. I am pro segregation and yes, i’m from Georgia. Leave the white people to themselves and let the black kings and queens share OUR love with one another. No, I am not racist, just pro black and no, pro black does not mean anti white.”

Looking at this person’s profile, it does not say what year he graduated from high school, but he is certainly not old. The disturbing aspect of this is that it’s a young black person not in favor of integration. How do such views still exist in this day and age that support segregation?

Racism, especially in overtly institutionalized forms such as a segregated prom seems outdated after all the legislation in favor of segregation and subsequent cultural attitudes that seem to have shifted. But we will never quite live in the post-racial societal bliss that we think we do so long as these traditions exist. And these traditions do not only exist on prom planning committees, but in the attitudes of people of our generation who “don’t see why it’s such a big deal.”

Acceptance of the status quo is not being “pro black,” or even “anti-white.” It is allowing our roles in society to be defined by the colors of our skin. I admire the gumption of these young women who wish to let their friendship take precedence over something as superficial as white or black. The projected date of the prom is April 27, less than three weeks away.

http://www.policymic.com/articles/33623/wilcox-county-high-school-segregated-pro…

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9 thoughts on “Wilcox County High School Segregated Prom Proves Racism Will Never Fully Die (participation)

  1. I find this whole situation completely shocking and it is hard for me to even imagine a school here in the United States that still has a segregated prom. I can’t believe that this issue is JUST NOW being taken care of and it had to take a small group of female students to do so. I don’t understand how it doesn’t feel unnatural to ANY of the students or the staff at the school. I find it mind blowing to think that is still happening. As we have learned in class, racism and discrimination is still very prominent in our society, but for a school to still have segregated events is crazy and while they are able to use the same facilities and classrooms as one another, I can’t imagine that there is much room for an education in an environment like this. How do they prevent hate crimes, and discrimination among peers and staff when the school dances are segregated and therefore teaching them that it’s okay? How can the students get a proper education in race, ethnicity, culture, and the importance of diversity when they are segregated in other aspects of the school?

  2. This is such a shocking article because most people seem to believe this type of thing does not happen anymore. The article stated that there are other schools besides just this one in Georgia with segregated dances with some support from the African American community for pro segregation. In the 21st decade you would think that both white and black would be pro integration and some sort of law would prevent activities such as prom from being color segregated. The article just proves racism is alive today and even if it is not as prevalent in your community lots of communities are still in a post-civil rights daze where segregated activities such as the ones talked about in this article exist. I wonder what the punishment would be if a white and black student did try to go to prom together? Maybe if more students tried to fight the rule and go together white and black more attention could be brought to the school and end the outdated segregation.

  3. In think is a very interesting article. I have never heard of prom for just whites and one for just blacks. I think that is really stupid. It should not matter who attends as long as they are in the age range to do so. Here in Washington like we all know there is not very many African Americans in comparison to other states and maybe that is why we don’t have this problem but it shouldn’t matter the state they are in all proms should be the same. What is so special about prom, which makes African Americans not welcome? How come they can drink out the same fountain, attend the same school, ride in the same buses but not attend prom together, makes no sense. Like mentioned in the article that prom is not technically organized by the school, that is also dumb. Prom should be organized by the school and should make it that anyone who wants to attend could attend. Your color of skin should not matter to have fun while you are in high school. I really don’t understand how the teacher and staff from the school don’t see anything wrong with that and do something about it even though they don’t organize that even it is still considered an even related to school.

  4. I had no clue that this type of segregation was still allowed to exist. Like it quotes above, “In certain rural pockets of the Deep South, black and white students can use the same drinking fountains, attend school together, and even socialize with each other, but cannot go to prom together.” I don’t understand this, what are these rural areas trying to prove. I would have thought that by now, having a Black president would have been a huge stepping stone and an end to this type of racism and segregation. And even Morgan freeman seems to be a supporter of this. I offered to fund a racially integrated prom in Charleston, Mississippi, but the school didn’t take him up on his offer until nearly ten years later. I didn’t know about this until reading this article because something like that would never be allowed in Washington, or even thought of at that. This article just goes to show you that racism is still very alive today. And I don’t think it will ever complete go way. Nothing was going to happen about these segregated proms until some girls were willing to speak up about it. It seems that these rural areas find it normal and not out of the ordinary to be racist.

  5. I found this article very interesting and also extremely shocking. I was very surprised that there are still areas in the United States that still support segregation among black and white individuals. One reason I found it so shocking is the fact that I grew up in Atlanta, GA for 14 years, and had no prior knowledge of this. It blew my mind to find out such an act of segregation still exists today. Before reading this article I would have had a very simple answer for the first question, “We live in a post-racial society now, right?”. My answer to that question would have been “yes” before previous knowledge, but unfortunately the answer to that question is “no”. I think it is absolutely ridiculous that this is even allowed in todays society, and also the fact that some people are fine with this segregation. Another aspect of the article that surprised me was the reaction from one of the black students. That student was quoted saying, “I don’t see why it’s such a big deal. I am pro segregation and yes, i’m from Georgia. Leave the white people to themselves and let the black kings and queens share OUR love with one another. No, I am not racist, just pro black and no, pro black does not mean anti white.” I found it very shocking that a student would be in favor of segregating the prom based on skin color. I believe we can’t become a “post-racial society” until all people see the problem with segregation, especially in schools.

  6. I amazed by the situation occurring in our present time. This proves to me racism and segregation is far from ending, and it really never ended like some of us though it was. I find this shocking due to the fact they hold to different proms one for colored people and the other for whites. That proves that in some parts in the United States similar things are occurring like when segregation was at its worst during the times of Rosa Parks or Martin Luther King Jr. This stuff probably happens on other places too, but its probably not that exposed. This colored people from that school probably feel different cause they are not being allowed to socialize with the white people at an event where ever race should be allowed to attend at the same time and the same building. I think its wrong and looks like that school is setting an example of segregation and racism to the students, and is showing them that its still happening in our modern day America by example.

  7. Its sad to know that in the South there are still instances of segregation occurring in the lives of teenagers. The racism amongst whites has caused some teenagers such as the young man in the article to become “pro black” and not even want an integrated prom because of all the racism and suppression he has been subjected to over the course of his young life. I feel no one would be in favor of a segregated prom unless they have experienced suppression from other members of society. Whats also hard for me to believe is that there are more segregated proms in the South than just Wilcox County High School and people tend to think that holding a SEGREGATED prom is no issue or not racist? This is a classic example of institutionalized racism and how over time it becomes self perpetuating and no one thinks what is happening is a form of racism because its become a tradition. A segregated prom was so stuck in the beliefs of southerners that even after Morgan Freeman offered to pay for an integrated prom at a high school in the South the school didn’t accept the offer until a decade later. Its almost sickening to realize that these forms of overt institutionalized racism still exist today.

  8. The fact that there are still segregated proms in this country in the year 2013 is simply baffling to me. I can’t even wrap my head around it. This is something that we might expect to see 50 or 60 years ago, but I have felt like we have come a long way since then…apparently not. We need to stand up against this idea of a segregated proms and really all racist actions in general. Obviously that is easier said than done, but in this context it’s a no brainer. This can not be allowed in our country any longer. This should not be tolerated at all, it is ridiculous to think that some schools can even think about having a segregated prom and be able to get away with it. In an era where our President is partly African American, you would think that these types of situations would cease to exist. I’m aware that racism will never fully be gone, but stopping things like segregated proms would probably help the cause.

  9. The fact that the school allows the practice of two proms to happen is appalling. What Im confused about is why are there two privately funded proms and not one school funded prom? Im also confused about who is funding the proms. Could it be the parents? Does that mean the parents support segregation, even if most of the students do not? There are a lot of unanswered questions in my eyes, however with the information I do have from the article, Im equally astounded and disgusted that this practice is allowed to continue.

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