A School in Macon-Area Georgia Still Has Segregated Proms
Updated: I hyperlinked the FB page through which you can donate. I did!
Partying like it’s 1899
The year is 2013, right? Last time I checked, it was. Unfortunately, Wilcox County High School in Georgia hasn’t gotten the memo. The school itself is integrated, of course, but it has segregated proms and homecoming dances, as it has had since its inception. A biracial kid showed up to the white prom last year and was escorted away by the police.
You might be asking yourself as I was, “How the fuck is this legal?” The answer is that the dances aren’t on school property and therefore are private events – private events can discriminate all they goddamn want. So, this segregation is legal, but it’s still fucking outrageous, and the community needs to be shamed into stopping this bullshit. These kids go to school together, hang out together all the time, but they’re not allowed to dance together? The fuck?
Into this ugly picture step Keela Bloodworth, Mareshia Rucker, Stephanie Sinnot, and Quanesha Wallace. The girls have been best friends since fourth grade, have done everything together since then, and they don’t understand why they can’t attend prom together.
Homecoming consists of two separate dances as well. In the past, there were two Homecoming courts, and this is the first year there’s been only one. But, there were still two dances. Quanesha was the queen, but wasn’t allowed to attend the white Homecoming. As the king was white, the two had to take separate pictures for the yearbook. Take a moment and let that sink in so you can fully appreciate how appalling this is. The kids voted these two as king and queen of their Homecoming, and yet, they couldn’t attend the same dance. This is one thing that drove Quanesha to be part of the planning for the integrated prom. She said:
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.
The four girls got to work. They planned an integrated prom for April 27th, and have promoted it heavily. Their posters have been torn down at school, but they are not deterred. They have a Facebook page promoting the integrated prom and are hosting several fundraisers to help pay for without the help of school officials. They said that the school offered a resolution that would allow for an integrated prom, but that didn’t discontinue the segregated ones.
The girls realize that it’s a tough road because their community likes things as they are. The mentality is, if things aren’t broke, why should we fix them? Well, they are broke, Wilcox County High School, and the girls are pushing for change. They really don’t understand why they have to go to separate dances when they’ve done everything else together since they were kids – and neither do I.
The situation is fucked up, and the school AND community ought to be ashamed of themselves, but kudos to these girls for fighting the good fight against all odds. I admire them for standing up for what’s right, even though they’ve met severe resistance. As Keela said, “If we don’t change it no one else will.”
There are still going to be segregated proms this year in addition to the integrated prom, but in a large part because of these girls, I have a hunch this is one tradition that won’t last much longer. I say good riddance to bullshit.
h/t @socratic on the Twitter Machine