Students at a high school in Georgia are trying to put an end to a tradition of a segregated prom, an event so entrenched in the small community that police have even led away biracial students from the whites only dance.
The segregated prom has been a tradition at Wilcox County High School, with separate dances for each race for as long as people can remember. Homecoming at the school has normally been segregated as well, with different courts for each race.
Though the school nixed the segregated courts at this year’s homecoming — allowing a black student to be elected homecoming queen — there were still two separate dances.
“I felt like there had to be a change,” said Quanesha Wallace, a student at the high school and this year’s homecoming queen. “For me to be a black person and the king to be a white person, I felt like why can’t we come together.”
Wallace and a group of friends are part of a movement to end the segregated prom. They have planned only one dance, called the “Integrated Prom,” and invited everyone.
The idea hasn’t gone over too well with some people. Some students ripped down signs for the Integrated Prom. Last year, when a biracial student tried to attend the whites only prom, police came to turn the student away.
The students committed to ending the segregated proms remain undeterred. They started a Facebook page and are running fundraisers to pay for the Integrated Prom.
“We realize were making history. Because this has never happened before. So for something like this to come about where we can make a difference or change, it’s gonna be valuable to the community. It’s really exciting,” said Mareshia Rucker.
“I see black, white proms separate gone. I think from this point on they will have an integrated prom,” added Toni Rucker.
The effort to end the segregated proms seems to be working. About 50 students have already bought tickets to the Integrated Prom.