April 30, 2013

Integrated Prom

A Georgia high school was still dealing with racial segregation -- at prom.

The idea of a racially segregated anything may seem old and outdated. Yet segregation still exists in some places, including at one Georgia high school. That is until the students there decided to make a change. Scott Evans has the story.

Scott: It has never happened before at Wilcox County High School in Georgia – black and white students at the same prom.

Student: It means everything! I mean, I’m just totally excited about this whole thing!

Scott: This past weekend, more than a hundred students attended the school’s first integrated prom thanks to a group of seniors who challenged the county’s longtime tradition of segregated dances.

Student: They always had the quote, unquote the white prom and the black prom.

Scott: These students grew up together, but when Quanesha Wallace was elected homecoming queen in the fall, she wasn’t allowed to the white party.

Quanesha Wallace: Hearing from other students that I couldn’t – they didn’t want me to go – it kind of saddened my heart a little.

Scott: President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawing segregation in public schools. But in Wilcox County, dances are considered private events, not school sponsored. It is parents that created the whites-only prom and it has been going on there for years. But the teens, fed up with the old way of doing things, decided to raise money to hold the integrated prom.

Student: We have got a guy that wants to donate LED lights. It’s amazing! It’s so beyond phenomenal right now.

Scott: From DJs to printing companies, people were eager to show their support from all over the world.

Students: Korea; London, England; Japan; Paris!

Scott: The students’ Facebook page, Love Has No Color, has about 30,000 likes.

Student: We’re going to…we’re going to make a change.

Scott: And they did make a change, making history and changing their community with a prom.

Student: We’re all having a great time with that music live. Everybody’s in there dancing. It’s a great atmosphere in there.

Student: Man, this awesome! Woo! Best prom ever!

Student: This truly will be my prom to remember. I’m so glad I didn’t go to one until now.

Scott: Scott Evans, Channel One News.

Julian: The school says it will discuss making next year’s prom an inclusive, official school event.


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