In Rochelle, Ga., a town with about 50 percent White and 50 percent Black residents, Wilcox High School students are attempting to organize their first ever integrated prom, reports Fox 19.
Students, Stephanie Sinnot (pictured top right), Mareshia Rucker (pictured bottom left), Quanesha Wallace (pictured top left) and Keela Bloodworth (pictured bottom right), are spearheading the “Integrated Prom” event. But there are those who oppose their efforts. When the girls put up posters around the school’s campus promoting the prom, many were ripped down.
The historic prom is particularly eyebrow raising in that the students are integrated in every other aspect of academia. The kids share classrooms and attend sporting events together, yet the school has elected to hold on to a vestige of this nation’s dark days of segregation.
“We are all friends, that’s just kind of not right that we can’t go to prom together,” Sinnot said told Fox 19. “If we don’t change it, nobody else will,” Bloodworth added.
The long-held tradition of White prom/Black prom, which has been strictly enforced by school administrators, came to a head last year when, reportedly, a biracial student attempted to attend the White prom and was actually turned away by police.
“When people around here are set in their ways, they are not too adamant to change,” Rucker said.
Not only are the proms segregated, so is homecoming. While still holding two separate dances, the school decided to elect only one pair for king and queen for the first time this academic year; one of the integrated prom organizing students, Wallace, won. The teen told Fox 19, “I felt like there had to be a change because for me to be a Black person and the king to be a White person, I felt like, you know why can’t we come together?”
Thus far, the senior class is trying to get together the funds to pay for the prom and are holding a fundraising event on April 27.
The teens said the school sanctioned the integrated prom for all races of the student body, but has not put the brakes on the segregated, private dances.