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Wilcox Co. High School Students Organize First Integrated Prom

By: CNN
By: CNN

Students at Wilcox County High School in south Georgia share classrooms and sports fields, but they don't share the same prom. One prom is for white students, and one is for students of color.

"We're embarrassed, it's embarrassing, yeah it's kind of embarrassing."

Stephanie, Marishia, Quanesha, and Keela say they do everything together, except prom night.

"We are all friends. That's just kind of not right that we can't go to prom together," Stephanie said.

In a world full of color, Wilcox County High School still sees things as black and white.

"There's a white prom and then we have our integrated prom."

If any race other than Caucasian tries to attend the white prom...

"They would probably have the police come out there and escort them off the premises."

That was the case just last year as a biracial student was turned away by police.

It's been that way for as long as anyone can remember and it doesn't stop at prom. Homecoming is also segregated. While still having two separate dances, the school decided to elect only one pair for king and queen for the first time this school year.

Quenesha won.

"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?"

But nothing changed. Quenesha wasn't invited to the white homecoming. In fact, the pair took separate pictures for the school yearbook.

"When people around here are set in their ways, they are not to adamant to change."

So the girls are taking matters into their own hands.

"If we don't change it nobody else will."

They're organizing a prom for everyone to attend, but everyone is not fond of the idea.

"I actually put up posters for the integrated prom, and we've had people ripping them down at the school."

The group will continue to make progress even though there doesn't seem to much motivation to change.

"We need to stick with the tradition, this is a traditional thing we don't need to change and stuff like. I'm like, 'but why?' No one can answer my question, exactly, they think that nothing's broken so why fix it."

The senior class is raising money to pay for the integrated prom, without the help of school officials. It will be held April 27th.

The students say the school offered a resolution to permit an integrated prom for all students to attend, but not stop segregated proms.


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