April 5th, 2013
09:40 AM ET

'New tradition' for Georgia students: Their first racially integrated prom

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By Jamie Gumbrecht, CNN

(CNN) - As Quanesha Wallace remembers, it was around this time last year when the idea first came up at Wilcox County High School. It was nothing big, just chatter about prom, school, what comes next, what they'd change.

If things were different, someone said, we'd all go to the same prom.

For as long as anyone could remember, students in their South Georgia community went to separate proms, and homecoming dances, too. White students from Wilcox County attend one. Black students, another. They’re private events organized by parents and students, not the school district. Schools have long been desegregated, but in Wilcox County, the dances never changed.WGXA

The friends all agreed they'd go to an integrated prom, Quanesha said, and when they asked, others said, "Yeah, I'd go, too."

"We are all friends," Quanesha's friend, Stephanie Sinnot, told CNN affiliate WGXA-TV in Macon, Georgia. "That's just kind of not right that we can't go to prom together."

So now it's April, and prom is coming up, and these black and white friends, longtime pals who go to classes together and play sports together and hang out together, are going to prom together, too. For the first time, students are organizing an integrated dance, one that welcomes any of Wilcox County High's 400 students.

"This is going to be the biggest prom ever to come through Wilcox County," said Quanesha, one of the event's organizers.

The theme will be "Masquerade Ball in Paris." There will be an Eiffel Tower and Mardi Gras-style masks, dancing, flowers, catered food and a clubhouse in nearby Cordele. They're expecting gowns, ties, manicures, up-dos, sparkle. Quanesha has a date, although she hasn't decided on a dress.

"If you want to get fancy, get fancy," said Quanesha, 18. "If you don't, that's fine."

Attendees will vote on a king and queen but also cutest couple, best smile, best dressed. They'll do a recognition ceremony for a classmate who died. They'll start a new prom tradition: a unity toast.

By Thursday afternoon, about 50 tickets had sold for the integrated prom. They're aiming for 100. They're not sure they'll make it.

Not everybody is excited about the idea. Posters for the integrated prom were torn off the walls of the high school. Students who usually plan dances didn't get involved with this one. Nothing was different about this year's homecoming dances: Quanesha, the queen, is black. The king, white. She thought she might get an invite to the other prom, but they went to separate dances, and appear in separate yearbook photos, she said.

In a statement posted on the school district’s website Thursday, Wilcox County Superintendent Steve Smith stressed the segregated proms aren’t organized by the school.

When students approached him about hosting an integrated prom, Smith wrote, he and the county’s board of education “not only applauded their idea, but we also passed a resolution advocating that all activities involving our students be inclusive and nondiscriminatory.

“I fully support these ladies, and I consider it an embarrassment to our schools and community that these events have portrayed us as bigoted in any way.”

The statement was no longer on the schools' website Thursday night, but a new statement posted by Friday morning said the high school's principal "will place the 2014 Prom on its agenda for its next meeting."

Smith did not return CNN's phone calls or e-mails.

Wilcox County is not the only place with a racially segregated prom, nor is it the only one that's attracted widespread attention in recent years. In the 2009 documentary “Prom Night in Mississippi,” director Paul Saltzman followed the preparations for the first integrated prom in Charleston, Mississippi. Actor Morgan Freeman, a native of the area, offered in 1997 to cover the cost if the school board would hold an integrated prom, but the offer wasn’t accepted till 2008.

Students and parents say it's hard to spark conversation that breaks what's now seen as tradition.

"I've lived here all my life. Nobody pushed the issue. This year, these children - we didn’t have any idea it was going to go as it did," Quanesha's mother, Linda Wallace, said Thursday. "Before we knew it, it was like a wildfire."

Indeed, Wilcox County's integrated prom has gotten a lot of attention this week. Schools in the county of about 9,000 residents are on spring break, but while classes were out, the prom story appeared on the local news, and the story spread. They'd been raising money for the prom all year, and some donations helped, but they've picked up a lot in the last few days. The prom's Facebook page drew thousands of fans since it was set up Wednesday.

Most of the comments are positive. "Your efforts will open the eyes of many. I applaud your courage and hopefulness. Continue your fight for change this year and every year, not just in your school but throughout your community. It just takes one person to change the world," one person wrote.

"You are civil rights leaders of 2013!" another wrote. "I am so encouraged by what you are doing. I believe that your generation has the power to make things better. Keep going and never give up."

Still, Quanesha is a little nervous about returning to school Monday. A lot of parents and students support them, she said, but she knows some don't. Why else, after all these years, were they still holding dances that segregated white and black students?

"I’m all about sticking together, reasoning with each other," Quanesha said. "We have very strong-minded students at Wilcox County. I hope they’re there to back each other up."

The friends and organizers are trying to enjoy it. Soon, most of them will be graduating. Quanesha plans to go to college to study psychology. She said she's not going too far from home for now. She wants to make sure the prom keeps going, and she can come back to help encourage the underclassmen who will have to take it on next.

"I don't want to just leave them hanging. I know we're going to leave them a little money," Quanesha said.

"New tradition. Leave them a little something so it won't be so hard for them like it was hard for us."

Follow us on Twitter @CNNschools.

Posted by
Filed under: Extracurricular • High school • Parents • Prom • Students
soundoff (1,154 Responses)
  1. Boomer in Mo

    Are they all living in 1954?

    April 10, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
  2. e-racer

    Astounding! This seems a very black and white issue. Wondering where are Asian or Hispanic or Native American students in this county supposed to go to prom? Guess that is not an issue.

    April 10, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • Laura McDermott

      Reading through the comments behind this article shows exactly why we still have places that are so far behind in the times. The object is not to insult one another, but to change with the times. And to applaud these young people, believe me the mentality they are up against is a formidable opponent, it was not easy for them to speak up or go public. There will be consequences behind closed doors. The kids have tried time and time again to do the right thing, and eventually they will make changes. They need our support. Kudos to CNN, you can guarantee this issue will not be given this much publicity on the local level. What you don't know won't hurt you, right? And there you have it.

      April 11, 2013 at 6:14 am |
    • Laura McDermott

      Socially, nobody mixes in public. The children of other backgrounds are generally accepted by other children, black and white. Example, my daughter is white/Pakistani... she was invited to both proms, but wouldn't be welcome in most white households around here. I've been told I left her out in the sun too long. My husband and I are a mixed couple and we have nowhere at all that we can comfortably go to sit and have a drink or dance, it's just not an option. We come from South Florida where it is very integrated, this is strange to us.

      April 11, 2013 at 6:34 am |
  3. jess

    First idea, in 2005 the idea was brought up now 9 years later it is an issue.

    April 10, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
  4. Michele

    I have lived in Alabama for 40 years. I graduated in 1990 in a small town (under 2,000 residents) just north of Birmingham. I have NEVER EVER heard of having segregated proms. Unthinkable. Don't think it's a southern thing. It's not. Not all southern towns or Southerners are like that. I am just as shocked as most of you. It should be a non-issue in this day and time.

    April 10, 2013 at 8:54 am |
    • Calliope

      Um .... let us not forget Wedowee (Randolph County) in 1994, when the principal banned interracial proms

      April 10, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
  5. St.thomas

    Your kidding me right!!!!!! An intergrated prom is really a discussion in 2013? I am flabbergasted and at the same time utterly disgusted that America is still dealing with these hurdles.
    Sorry, but we are a 3rd world country and thats disturbing.......

    April 10, 2013 at 4:03 am |
  6. Joel

    The library I guess

    April 10, 2013 at 2:41 am |
  7. Wookie

    I was kicked off the b-ball courts of k street park in Sacramento, CA because of the color of my skin. Don't think this is isolated to the south.

    April 9, 2013 at 11:56 pm |
  8. Civilone92

    I'm sorry Mississippi. But not really ! I should have said ONLY in these Southern states. Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia. Oh ! Don't let me forget you South Carolina. Welcome to 2013 !

    April 9, 2013 at 9:09 pm |
  9. Civilone92


    April 9, 2013 at 8:57 pm |
    • Be Honest

      This was in Georgia not Mississippi. I from Mississippi and that does not go on there!

      April 10, 2013 at 10:23 am |
      • Lin from Cali

        Don't fool yourself.. as recent as 5 years ago it was happening in Mississippi.. I am glad to hear it no longer happens there. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prom_Night_in_Mississippi

        April 11, 2013 at 2:59 am |
      • Kevin Durant sucks

        Hey lin

        April 11, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
  10. Kinezo

    Is this a post from a hundred years ago ? I could have sworn I read that unlike in Canada where I am lucky to live, the USA still has its citizens segregated by the amount of pigment in their skin. Another episode of "Weird or what"

    April 9, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
  11. OldeWhyteMann

    What year is this, 1913?

    April 9, 2013 at 11:26 am |
    • jasohans

      I had to double check the date on this article when I started reading it. I could not believe this was serious... I even checked to make sure it was something written on April 1st – I was that shocked. Welcome to the 21st century (20th really) Wilcox County.

      April 9, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
      • Mey

        I concur Jasohans. I thought the same thing. 2013 and we are segregating whites and blacks at school proms? Only in the south.

        April 9, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
      • Beth

        @Mey–are you so sure about that? I went to high school in Oregon and while there was no official segregation or separation of races, it happened all the time anyway. There was only a small handful of black students at my school and they were only friends with each other. By choice? I don't know. And maybe things have gotten better there in the last 10 years.

        But at least these students obviously mix together and are friends. That's more than I could say for the oh-so-enlightened people of Oregon. I live in Tennessee now and the children I see in schools are all friends with each other, regardless of race. It's nice to see.

        April 11, 2013 at 8:44 am |
  12. Showmetheexit

    If I told you I was not shocked to read this story I would be lying. Here we are in 2013
    and our young men and women of all colors have died and are dying in foreign countries
    and there is a place in AMERICA were this exist. “Shame on YOU” the really sad part is
    “Parents” who think this is OK!! So sad on so many levels 🙁

    April 9, 2013 at 10:04 am |
    • djhb317

      I CONCUR!

      April 9, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
    • djhb317

      The only reason I could see them even considering segregating the student for prom would be musical preference, but even that is a stretch. Now that they have caught on and come into 2013 with the rest of the country I'm sure that things there will be better days for all of the residents of this small town.

      April 9, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
      • Kay

        Really? Musical preference? Didn't know the color of your skin changed the music you like. You need to check out high schools these days. Everyone of every color are listening to the same thing...and have been for a long time.

        April 9, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
  13. Loretta

    I am an old woman, and there's not much left that really shocks me, but this certainly has. How has Wilcox County gotten away with this all these years? Unthinkable in a modern wolrd of supposed equality. And this is a Christian community. Does anybody out there truly believe that Jesus would see black and whtie youngsters as different? Throw away the hate, folks, otherwise it will rot you.

    April 9, 2013 at 9:44 am |
    • Paul of the Outer Spiral Arm

      Throw away the jesus and the whole world will be a much more peaceful place

      April 10, 2013 at 10:35 am |
      • Jesse from Canada

        Throw out the Jesus? Don't blame Jesus for the problems in the world. The most evil dictators in history were secular.
        Maybe they would speak of God occasionally only when assuring people that God was on their side. They were not true believers. Jesus gave us the ten commandments. Jesus taught not to judge people. Not to think down on other people. To put others above ourselves. Not to steal, rape, murder, covet. To have domain over the earth and the animals, which means (to manage the earth and the animals properly) Why would anyone want to throw away these ideals? God is what made America great. Yes some evil people use the name of God/Jesus to further their agenda. But this is not God this is a human thing. We need more Jesus and less people doing their own thing for their own benefit.

        April 11, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
      • SOG1969

        I moved to Dallas in '86 and most Apts wouldn't rent to me and my girlfriend because we were not married... being black and white couple was a kiss of death for most couples in Bible thumper Baptist Texas where history in schools is total fiction...

        April 12, 2013 at 10:30 am |
      • EdwardTr

        @ Jesse from Canada. Your argument is basically “If a Christian does something real bad, that means he is not a real Christian”. This is just a way to avoid taking responsibility for the history, and creating another fairy tale. As far as the commandments, at least the seven of them, Christianity did not give them to us. Those are humanist principles that predate Christianity and Judaism. It is hilarious that you would imply, that before Moses people did not know murder, rape, theft and to lie was wrong.

        But, back to the story. In situations like this prom churches can be very helpful and I hope they are involved. A sermon, not about let us get along, but one that directly, strongly and unequivocally condemns anyone that opposes this prom would be most helpful. They should say...“Tradition as an excuse is a lie, and the only reason anyone would oppose this prom is hate and those that do are false Christians.

        Atheist humanist

        April 13, 2013 at 9:17 am |
  14. janet

    I grew up in that community and attended the Wilcox Co High in Rochelle from '73 to '74. I moved to Florida on my own at 17 years old because I never fit in. My parents still live there, in the farmhouse my granddad built 70 years ago, so I visit often. Things haven't changed much since I left.

    Wilcox County is a very rural farming community with little opportunity, unless you are a farmer. A majority of the black and white residents live below the poverty level because there are no decent job opportunities. So, the affluent, old farming families run the county and are still not ready to embrace any type of standards other than what they grew up with. Families have lived there on the same land for generations and everybody knows everyone else's business. No one wants to be the one who goes against the community's code, or thinks differently.

    Most people in Wilcox County are good and would give anyone the shirt off their back. The racism really comes from ignorance. As we say in the South... Bless their hearts!

    April 9, 2013 at 2:23 am |
    • djhb317

      I am saddened by your affirmation, but the simple fact that you realize this is confirmation that everyone there does not believe in operating under these ignorant pretenses.

      April 9, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
  15. Fr33th1nk3r

    Holy Moly! Another century and the printing press and the wheel will be invented in this town! Hoooo-weeee!

    April 8, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
  16. John

    Islamists flock together blow up together - Not necessarily from the same race. Islam is color blind and race blind. However, Islam is explosive!!

    April 8, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
    • wwasbetter

      hell yeah, brother! i aint never read the torah, but there sure are alot of parts in it about blowing yourself up for islam.

      April 9, 2013 at 4:09 am |
      • YattiG

        John/wwasbetter: Sitting in London reading your comments. The two of you are definately the stupidest people I have ever come across on a blog/online chat.....Islam has WHAT to do with these high school kids in Wilcox County and their integrated prom? And the clincher; WHAT DOES THE TORAH HAVE TO DO WITH ANY OF THIS?

        NB: Just incase the two of you are further confused, London is in England which is part of the United Kingdom. Google it or is that beyond your mental capabilities too?

        Anyway, well done to Quanesha and her like-minded friends. I'm shocked that this segregation matter is still alive and kicking in this day and age, its disgusting, the county should be embarrassed by its failure to teach these kids against racism.

        April 9, 2013 at 7:46 am |
      • ignoranceisbliss?

        The torah is Jewish...and also the Christian Old Testament. Are you just trying to troll? I suggest you at least Wikipedia Islam.

        April 10, 2013 at 9:27 pm |
      • SOG1969

        Until Americans start calling people out in public for their bigoted hate statements, we will continue to have stupid people getting away with racism.... Make a stink, take iPhone video for you-tube, use the social media like they did for the Arab Spring and put their bigoted faces on the air for all to see....

        April 12, 2013 at 10:35 am |
    • Linda

      You are an idiot

      April 9, 2013 at 7:52 am |
      • YattiG

        Linda; who is an idiot???

        April 9, 2013 at 7:58 am |
    • Paul of the Outer Spiral Arm

      Yay – more hate around religion. You are a regular christian church attender no doubt.
      Lose the religion – lose the hate.

      April 10, 2013 at 10:38 am |
  17. Name*TherSa

    In re Integrated Prom....Is this.the 1800's ? WoW didn't know this sort if thing still was in.practice.

    April 8, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
    • Jorge

      What do you expect? This is, after all, in the heart of Georgia, the anchor of (and I don't mean this in a good way) Southeastern American culture. I moved my family, trade and estate to Augusta, GA for eight years and although the scenery, finances and house were nice, life was a social, cultural and interpersonal desolation not only for us, but for a lot of other people from elsewhere who we knew, while we lived there. I should have taken a hint when a second cousin of mine and her husband, both military lawyers, chose to move their buffet 1,500 miles away from Fort Gordon a year ago. My 15 year-old daughter, who's never had a contemptuous, exclusionary feeling in her heart for anyone in her entire life, felt like a fish out of water there, and is still beside herself with joy that we left, despite all the adjustments that we've had to make. Eight long years, but as they say in the South, oh well...

      April 8, 2013 at 9:12 pm |
  18. vingtsunguy

    How is it just now becoming an effort? We're in the year 2013, and somehow segregation was still ok in this town in 2012?

    April 8, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
    • Dale in Alabama

      This "segregation" has been not only tolerated, but accepted by both sides. It is not true segregation, but a choice made by the individuals involved. Now, those individuals are chosing to merge their seperate (not segregated) proms. There was no bouncer at the door of the white prom to keep the black kids out, or visa versa. So this is willful social seperation, not segregation.

      April 8, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
      • janet

        Actually Dale, there was a police officer there and he turned away a bi-racial student. I am from Wilcox County.

        April 9, 2013 at 2:27 am |
      • janet

        Actually Dale, there was a police officer there and he turned away a bi-racial student.

        April 9, 2013 at 2:28 am |
      • mjt

        It is because of thinking like this there is still a segregated prom in 2013. Of course they would turn away a black student trying to enter a white prom – the parents who encourage this nonsense would never allow a black kid at their prom. Seperate never is equal.

        April 9, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
  19. LaKisha

    It is really sad that in 2013 we are reading stories like this one. I have a 14 year old daughter who lives in GA so this story really makes me sad. I pray that God continue to give these children strength and courage. They should all be applauded for their efforts. And to all those who are still on the side of segregation, shame on you.

    April 8, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
  20. Bill, NY

    Here we are discussing something that rational people should not have to discuss in 2013. Yet those senile bags of bones on the Supreme Court are wondering whether or not voter protections in the south should stay in place. We are all too far apart. The only thing that may save us is a grave threat to everyone on this planet which would force us to all work together. Only then would we truly understand that no matter what, we are all the same.

    April 8, 2013 at 10:55 am |
  21. quanesh55

    innagration dun ruined merica anywayys

    April 8, 2013 at 10:00 am |
    • Ms. Weeks' social studies class

      We were so disturbed to discover that segregation still exists! We were equally disturbed by illiterate and ignorant responses like yours! P.S. get a dictionary

      April 12, 2013 at 10:32 am |
    • SOG1969

      Letting people like you breed is a crime....

      April 12, 2013 at 10:37 am |
  22. Shander

    For those of you who do not live in GA, this part of the state is extremely backwards so this does not surprise me one bit. Better late than never right??

    April 8, 2013 at 9:41 am |
  23. Robert

    I salute these students who are attempting to put an end to a culture and practice that was perpetuated by their parents and their community! Good for them! I hope they have the best Prom that Wilcox County has ever seen! Cheers!

    April 8, 2013 at 9:40 am |
  24. late

    Better late than never Georgia. But golly this is late.

    April 8, 2013 at 9:18 am |
    • greennnnnn

      It certainly IS late. Ridiculous. The entire "civil rights" thing, as it relates to black was way, way, too late. Oh, but the S.C. likes to let things "percolate" for 50 years before doing anything about them.

      April 8, 2013 at 9:27 am |
  25. Dan I

    A friend of mind posted about this on Facebook and as I said there...

    Half of me wants to "like" this, the other half says "No! It is a bad thing that this is happening in 2013 and not 1962!"

    April 8, 2013 at 7:57 am |
  26. katt

    I think it's ironic how CNN is using Quanesh's point of view for this story like she's "won" something. It may not happen at the first prom they have this way but in future proms beautiful young black women like Quanesha maybe be with out a prom date because of this. Why? Well just think of what you see in society. You see black men with white women way more often than the other way around. So as this "new tradition" continues, beautiful young women like Quanesha maybe left alone on that special prom night because the men of her race want to take another race to the prom instead. You can call this a bigoted post or whatever, but I'm just going by what I see in the world. I don't know if it's black women just want to be with their own race or what, but I feel bad for future Quanesha's.

    April 8, 2013 at 3:12 am |
    • Richard

      Tell me you did not just say that. Not a bigot...when they look up bigot they see your comments.

      April 8, 2013 at 6:25 am |
    • jason

      Really? Did I just read that? No words...

      April 8, 2013 at 8:38 am |
    • chaostheoryman

      I'm horrified by this bigoted post. It's not even mathematically logical, since the ability to date people of varying shades of skin color goes in all directions. Why does it bother you so much to see people of different skin colors hanging out, being friends, dating, in love, marrying, having children? What's the big divide? Other than your outdated beliefs? Do you believe that everyone in ancient Rome had the same ethnic background too?

      April 8, 2013 at 9:39 am |
    • jeff

      as the white male in a relationship with a minority female, what katt said is true, and not bigoted. the truth is not bigoted. the racist comments from minorities who dont think im good enough for "their women" are hilarious as i see them chase after woman not of their race. the media rarely shows white male minority female but constantly minority male white female. is my relationship not legit enough for the media? is it not as beautiful as others?

      April 8, 2013 at 9:45 am |
      • crazy eight

        ok so youve never seen scandal... it is way more rare to see "minority" male caucasoid female as it is caucasoid male "minority" female in the media these days. From that directly comes the sentiment "We're not good enough to be seen in an equal light with your so called "majority", but we are good enough to screw..."

        April 9, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
    • agree

      I totally agree with Katt's comments and it is not racist, its just a fact. As a black woman who's dated people of other races, I've gotten comments from black men basically calling me a sell out for dating other races. Meanwhile some of them are quick to date women of other races and consider it a right. It's unfortunate that in the world today, colour is still a deciding factorfor people when it comes to choosing partners. I believe in being with whoever you find love with, whether black or white or any other ethnicity, race or tribe period!

      April 8, 2013 at 9:59 am |
      • jeff


        April 8, 2013 at 10:07 am |
      • agree

        lol @jeff! I'm with you on your comment as well. Life is already complicated enough as it is without us creating more barriers for ourselves and further complicating things. I've been enriched intellectually and in many other areas by the friendships and relationships I've had with people of other nationalities. I just don't buy into the idea of only associating with people of the same racial type etc. We need to transcend this type of archaic thinking!

        April 8, 2013 at 10:56 am |
      • Kristen R.

        True. When I was about 12 (1996-CA), I remember my Dad sternly tell me, "You better not ever date a white boy." I was thoroughly confused, because my Dad is black and he married my Mom; who is a white woman. I saw a lot of hypocrisy growing up. I married my husband 8 1/2 years ago (a white man), and my Dad loves and respects him and our 3 kiddos 🙂
        And, I also feel our relationship (minority female-white male) is underrepresented in the media.

        April 8, 2013 at 12:48 pm |

      I'm a white woman married to a black man. My brother is a white man married to a black woman. You point is mute as I actually "live" in this world.

      April 8, 2013 at 10:57 am |
      • Souljacker

        moot, not mute. Gosh what do they teach in schools these days?

        April 8, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
      • luvsthecity

        Well she IS married to a black man. You know . . . taking the bottom of the barrel just to have a white mate and all. . .me thinks she grew up in "da hood". (Yes, I AM black, so I got the ghetto pass to say "da hood".)

        April 8, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • deb

      Well Katt you must not travel very far because I'm seeing it a lot both ways so the future Q maybe attending with the opposite race also.

      April 8, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • NolaThriving

      Its strange how your comment has nothing to do with the article. i'm pretty sure the reason he didn't with Quanisha was probably because he wwanted to enjoy his prom with his friends or mayb e his racist parents told him not. Their not in a relationship their just 2 kids voted by their peers to wear a crown and dance to 1 crappy song. Lets not overplay this situation.

      April 8, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • A1Saucy

      I understand your point. However, don't think for a minute that there aren't a lot of white men out there that are attracted to black women. The problem is, there's a higher 'tolerance' for a black man/white woman relationship than the other way around and white men are sometimes afraid of what consequences they could face from their family and friends because it.

      Who knows? Maybe there will be more people open to dating whomever they find themselves interested in after such walls are broke down. This could open up more possibilities for those young black girls.

      I'm a black woman who was born and raised in south Georgia and have had my own experiences with interracial dating and the prejuidices surrounding it. I moved away when I was in my early 20's (1998) because I could no longer stomach how closed minded people from my community were about most social issues. I remember on a couple of occasions, going out to dinner with the boyfriend (white) I had at the time and no one would seat us at a table.

      Anything that anyone does to bring people together, in a positive way, deserves an applause.

      April 9, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
    • Joel

      And all the white boys will be going to their prom with each other ....what will they think of next? Gay marriage !

      April 10, 2013 at 2:22 am |
  27. neal kelley


    April 8, 2013 at 2:44 am |
  28. Somebody

    Blacks segregate themselves mroe than anyone else. Why is okay for blacks to run a company calle FUBU )For Us By Us), and have BLack Miss America, and organization for Black Lawyers. Especially why is it so acceptable for blacks to opnely vote for Obama because he is black, and for Mexicans to openly show their disdain for America and vote in favor of illegal immigration and put their race before the country?

    April 8, 2013 at 1:56 am |
    • neal kelley

      How much money spent by black people actually goes back to the black community? Answer very little. While I hate FUBU. And I really do not like the FOR US BY US brand. I think the idea of a black person owning a business that sells to his own target demographic has merit. I do not see that as segregating our selves. I see it as making money from a market that spends more then any other ethnic group in the country.

      April 8, 2013 at 2:39 am |
      • denise10

        Blacks have fought for years for equal opportunity and integration. Magazines and tv shows, etc. do not have to be called Ivory Magazine or white entertainment television in order for it to be so, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's a duck. The only reason why most mediums targeting blacks have been created is due to either lack of representation or no representation in the mainstream. I agree it's bold to call it what it is, but I guess that's black folks, which I personally don't agree with because it does create controversy, but blacks do have a tendency in my opinion to be more honest about their intent and feelings, but I disagree that we separate ourselves by choice, I believe its done to fill a void.

        April 8, 2013 at 11:44 am |
    • Phillykev

      wow someone is still mad that their party lost the election by a LANDSLIDE...lmao

      April 8, 2013 at 2:46 am |
      • Jeff

        Some day, you may realize that you lost that election as well.

        April 8, 2013 at 9:51 am |
      • humtake

        Wow Jeff, that is probably one of the best replies I've ever seen.

        Oh, and btw, 53% of the popular vote is not a landslide. That means 47% of the country voted for someone else. Looks like you need to go back to grade school and work on your math.

        April 8, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
      • Charles Cross

        It depends on who you ask. If Romney won by the same margin it would be a landslide but since Obama won the conservatives say no.

        April 12, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • Derrick

      The main reason for companys like FUBU BET or any other black owned or labeled things is that there is so little outlets for black culture as a hole. I.E. how many channels on television have progaming that is geared towards white people compared to any other race/culture Black Asian or Latin based. In turn what said cultures do is try and create something that is geared towards them, even in clothing. With that said I live in GA and its not the first school in the past 10yrs to deal with this in GA.

      April 8, 2013 at 3:36 am |
      • Dale in Alabama

        Yet – if there were cabel channels "labled" such names as "White Entertainment Television" or programs such as "Miss White America", or a label "For Whites by Whites", etc. – white people would be deemed racist for it. There's a double-standard. The blacks wanted, and by ALL means DESERVED equality – for I truly believe that ALL men were created equal – yet now, it's not equality by superiority that is expected. White people do not owe black people anything. Black people do not owe white people anything. But PEOPLE (black or white or any other race) owe each other mutual respect and love.

        April 8, 2013 at 8:42 am |
      • Charles Cross

        Dale you are COMPLETELY MISSING THE POINT OF CHANNELS LIKE Bet and such, Those are outlets for us because shows that are on NBC CBS AND FOX don't air black programming like that.

        April 12, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
    • It's 2013, get over it.

      There was a time when companies like "FUBU" made sense, I do not think they are necessary anymore. The US has evolved quite a bit in the last 20 years. And even more before that. The brand however, has to decide whether to disband or keep making money. It's not necessarily a statement anymore. It was when it first came out.

      The US is now a multicultural society that isn't easily divided along racial lines anymore. There is overlap and a common culture. Sub cultures still exist, but they aren't rivals anymore. We are intermarried, and interdepenent. The black/white issue is largely an issue used by politicians as a desperate attempt to gain favor for themselves, i.e. Jess Jackson, and some of the GOP.

      The fact that there are remnants of cultural divides still around doesn't mean the divides are still around. It's over, you're complaining about a bygone era at this point.

      April 8, 2013 at 3:55 am |
      • AudreyE

        If that's how things are where you live, then that is very good, but I promise you it is not true throughout this country. I don't even think it's true most places.

        April 8, 2013 at 7:37 am |
      • historygeek6

        85% of white in America live segregated from all other races. I think there might be a little more work to do than you what you think.

        April 8, 2013 at 8:39 am |
      • vince86

        White guys wore FUBU too. You clearly weren't in school during the late 90's.

        April 8, 2013 at 10:29 am |
      • anothermuse

        People love to point out things like FUBU or other black centric organizations. Bu honestly, African Americans are probably much more likely to watch ABC as BET..Well certainly TBS.

        It's marketing plain and simple. As for a white network, start with Fox News Channel. I mean they weren't brave enough to call grumpy white guy tv, but really, not much difference.

        April 8, 2013 at 11:57 am |
    • cogent

      fubu?! what a throwback haha

      April 8, 2013 at 4:35 am |
  29. MaryM

    Its is their Prom. Let them have what They want. What the hell is wrong with you deep south people.

    April 8, 2013 at 1:18 am |
    • Phillykev

      a lot

      April 8, 2013 at 2:47 am |
  30. JO27

    In reality black communities across the country often opt for separate functions and that includes school dances. Everyone assumes its the other way round but its not. If a group of black students decides to have a separate dance, that will necessarily create a separate one for other ethnicities. If people want to have separate functions they can, but don't say that it's the result of discrimination by others.

    April 8, 2013 at 1:14 am |
    • thinker

      Discrimination starts somewhere in time, and alternatives such as a separate prom are created to fill the gape that appears. Yes separate but identical are fine when people desire it themselves, but it is not fine when it is forced on them.

      April 8, 2013 at 1:49 am |
      • BillE

        So to continue what you say is that eventually they think having several events for the same thing is normal...the world and the people in it are messed up.

        April 8, 2013 at 2:43 am |
    • neal kelley

      Wooow. I can see your the foremost authority on what black people want ALL OVER THE COUNTRY. Give me a break!

      April 8, 2013 at 2:42 am |
  31. Lizard Lance

    Georgia is 50th nationally in public education and first in racial discrimination. Way to go Georgia!

    April 8, 2013 at 12:54 am |
  32. reggin rupus

    blacks were always at the white proms... in the kitchen

    April 8, 2013 at 12:41 am |
    • Just_realistic


      April 8, 2013 at 1:44 am |
    • neal kelley

      Funny... NOT!

      April 8, 2013 at 2:43 am |
  33. sdfghjkl

    O, Quanesha Wallace is one of the white girls right?..................

    April 8, 2013 at 12:39 am |
  34. superbole

    Any more questions why the South STILL needs 'special attention' when it comes to voter's rights?

    April 8, 2013 at 12:25 am |
    • jeff

      yeah because what both races children decided has anything to do "voter rights" aka be the only 1st world country without voter id's. even the UN laughed when they saw that. trolls gonna troll.

      April 8, 2013 at 10:11 am |
  35. Daithi

    The school district knew the separate proms / parties were going on for years and were segregated. They should have organized an integrated one -say about a century ago – and that would have made the separate ones moot. It's called "educational leadership." Sounds like they should try it in Wilcox County.

    April 8, 2013 at 12:15 am |
  36. tarura

    Let the all-inclusive non-separatist Black Congressional Caucus have a say in this matter

    April 7, 2013 at 11:58 pm |
  37. Crush the Commies

    I don't see the problem with the fact that the white parents organized a "private" party it's called a private party for a reason they invite who they want and since they aren't receiving public funds for the party nobody can tell them who can and can't come

    April 7, 2013 at 11:13 pm |
    • deep blue

      The problem was the yearbook posting pictures of the private party.

      April 7, 2013 at 11:16 pm |
    • KA

      You can't force people to grow up either. Look how far behind you are.

      April 8, 2013 at 12:26 am |
    • neal kelley

      The problem is that the students want to go to the prom TOGETHER! It is the parents that are forcing the issue!

      April 8, 2013 at 2:46 am |
    • historygeek6

      There was a little thing called "Brown vs The Board Of Education" back in 1954. Anybody remember it? Anybody?

      April 8, 2013 at 8:47 am |
      • Amanda

        Brown v. board of education has nothing to do with private parties or non-educational functions. It is only about ensuring that everyone (despite race, gender, whatever) has access to equal education. Books, functional schools, other educational materials... It seems as though all of the necessary educational requirements were being met. Not to say that having separate proms is right (or even acceptable) especially if the events are posted in the school yearbook, but Brown v. Board of education doesn't apply here at all. Just wanted to point that fact out, "history geek". I have a degree in Social Studies Education (and I am also from the South), so I have taught about Brown v. Board and done extensive research on the topic of education. Do you remember history?

        Anyways, I hope that a group prom becomes a new tradition for the school.

        April 9, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
  38. IvotedforObama

    Georgia and Mississippi are the two WORST states I have ever visited.

    April 7, 2013 at 11:10 pm |
    • Outzi

      I wonder where Hispanics and other ethnic groups students have their proms...

      April 7, 2013 at 11:54 pm |
      • superbole

        That's a good question – another city, perhaps?

        April 8, 2013 at 12:26 am |
    • Somebody

      I grew up in Louisiana and have spent a LOT of time throughout the South from Virginia )even parts of MD if you count parts down to Georgia, FL, West Virginia, Tennessee etc etc and am a minority. Blacks are the most self-segregationary just like they are everywhere in the country. Many Asian Americans are assimilated and very integrated into the mainstream community. I am of Asian descent and many of my friends here, even here in Maryland, are good ol boys most of whom hate Obama, own guns, listen to country music and some have the Confederate flag. As for Mexicans......nobody has anything against Mexicans, it is ILLEGALS that many poeple, including myself, have a problem with. A Hispanic person who is assimilated and speaks English and accepts American culture is treated VERY differently than an illegal alien demanding a free ride like they are doing today with amnesty.

      April 8, 2013 at 2:00 am |
      • Austibost

        Accepting "American culture" is not a prerequisite for citizenship. Self-segregation of a community is within their rights as Americans in a free country, but that's not what this article is even about, it's really the High School allowing private proms that are clearly segregated. They are private parties and that gives anyone the right to invite or not allow anyone, but when it becomes a 'culture' of having a segregated prom regardless of the causes someone like this wonderful girl Quanesha is really stepping up and telling her community that it's just not appropriate. Good for her 🙂

        April 8, 2013 at 2:34 am |
      • Mike

        You shouldn't be here either if you ask me to be honest the blacks helped build this nation fought for it and died for it for 100's of years they are more American than all of you chinks and French/German/Irish muts so show some respect

        April 8, 2013 at 11:31 am |
      • Jorge

        Somebody, how so very, very right you are about black self-segregationism and very, very wrong about discrimination being directed only at non-citizen Hispanics in the South. My wife and daughter were born American citizens in Puerto Rico and are fully bilingual, I was born in NYC of Cuban American U.S. citizens, and our eight-year stay in GA was a social purgatory. My most outstanding memories of life there are the leering sidelong glances given to me by visitors and coworkers when my last name was pronounced during introductions and being referred to as "you people" by a perpetually angry...BLACK BOSS. Funny, I recall that going out of style when I was a kid playing stickball in the streets of Manhattan in 1969, welcome to the South, y'all...

        April 8, 2013 at 9:46 pm |
  39. Ron

    These black people are pathetic. Why should black people beg to go dancing with whites. Please have some dignity and self-respect.

    April 7, 2013 at 11:04 pm |
    • Joshua

      Cant tell if racist or not....are you saying black people shouldn't have to beg to dance with white people, or are you saying black people shouldn't dance with white people..?

      April 8, 2013 at 12:00 am |
    • superbole

      Anybody who begins a comment with the words "these black people" is more than likely a bigot. Either that, or just plain stupid.

      April 8, 2013 at 12:28 am |
      • Kris

        Or a troll

        April 8, 2013 at 10:11 am |
    • hilda

      Ron, please tell me you're kidding! Blacks begging to dance with white people – "dance" being the operative word here – what planet did you just drop in from? LOL

      It's just pitiful that so many people continue to believe (in their own minds, of course) all of the negative garbage they say about Black people. INTELLIGENT people KNOW that there is the good, the bad, and the ugly in ALL races & ethnicities. But it pleased God to make us all in the way, shape, personalities, and colors that He chose. We're here together by His divine plan so we might as well learn to live together and love one another. And if we choose not to do so -- well, then we can face the LIVING God one day and have a discussion about why we think that we know more than He does as well as why any one of us came to the conclusion that we are somehow superior to other people.

      April 8, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
      • Hope

        Hilda you just rocked your response. Best response so far. People, get over yourselves and your whiny fears. People are people. Bigots need to STOP living in fear and start living in love. If you were blind, none of this would matter. Judging a person by the skin color is like judging a person based on their shirt color. Really? Is that the most important part? Love over fear – always wins in the end.

        April 10, 2013 at 11:53 am |
  40. hfoshfos

    I'm dammed that black and white separation still exist today.

    April 7, 2013 at 10:50 pm |
  41. El Chino

    Where do the Asians go to prom?

    April 7, 2013 at 10:45 pm |
    • Jorge

      Having the reputations for pragmatism and intelligence that they do, most probably somewhere AWAY from black and white Southern haters...

      April 8, 2013 at 9:53 pm |
  42. MeMelvin

    You have got to be kidding me? Since when do the plumbing and the paint job still matter?

    My fellow Americans, allow me to offer you some helpful instruction to manage the future:
    Take your heads out of your butts!

    April 7, 2013 at 10:45 pm |
  43. davetharave

    The only way that racism propogates is from parents to children. Kudos to these kids for saying 'it stops here'.

    April 7, 2013 at 10:18 pm |
  44. absdfsa


    April 7, 2013 at 9:57 pm |
  45. interesting...

    This was a surprise to find, separate proms for people with different amounts of melanin, the chemical primarily responsible for skin color still continuing. In a way the school IS endorsing the continued existence of separate proms, since the queen(black) is separate from the king (white), in yearbook photos and is not invited to the other prom. Now some will argue that the school has no say when proms are organized, but the two are separate in the yearbook, meaning the school IS INVOLVED, therefore the continued existence of two proms could have been taken to court, since a yearbook is a SCHOOL activity/item. What is disturbing is reading that posters for an integrated prom have been torn down, which speaks of ethnic discrimination being a common and everyday component of life in that school.
    I use the term "ethnic discrimination," not "racism," since a chemical called melanin is the primary factor on skin color. Eumelanin is a variant of melanin that have two types, black and brown. Pheomelanin is another that goes from pink to red hues. Different amounts of eumelanin and pheomelanin produce different skin colors, thus ethnic discrimination since skin color is based on your genetic ethnic background.
    Some might say I am wrong using "ethnic background," instead of "racism," since ethnic discrimination is primarily used in other ways, but I am a scientific person. Racism to me is an outdated term for when people could not understand why people could look so different from each other, but now science has given answers to why, with melanin and the different chemical variants explaining why skin and hair color are what they are.

    April 7, 2013 at 8:50 pm |
    • interesting...

      Please be polite if posting any comments to my post, I find rude comments very off putting when a discussion is supposed to take place. People are less likely to change opinions if they are attacked verbally.

      April 7, 2013 at 8:54 pm |
  46. Tom

    I love how most of you don't even read the article, just the headline. They said THE SCHOOL HAS NO PROM!!! It has nothing to do with segregation, the SCHOOL HAS NO PROM! Those dances are run by the parents and students, NOT THE SCHOOL. Learn to read people! IF the school has a prom, or a homecoming, by law they CANNOT discriminate or segregate.

    April 7, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
    • deep blue

      And, these events that are "entirely independent from the school" somehow end up in the school yearbook.

      April 7, 2013 at 11:05 pm |
    • Tera

      Tom did you READ the article? it says, They’re private events organized by parents and students, not the school district. But it also says, schools have long been desegregated, but in Wilcox County, the dances never changed. And they haven't because??? Students and parents say it's hard to spark conversation that breaks what's now seen as tradition. Posters for the integrated prom were torn off the walls of the high school. Students who usually plan dances didn't get involved with this one. I wonder why?

      April 7, 2013 at 11:29 pm |
  47. PDXSerric

    It completely blows me away that in 2013 this is even an issue....

    April 7, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
    • MeMelvin

      Here, here. The paint job and the plumbing are still a big deal, because a few (and thank goodness a diminishing number of) folks hold in their xenophobic hearts that all God's children are ranked by an arbitrary scale measuring skin tone and external genitals.

      May these mentally genetic failures be blessed to meet their Creater face-to-face and may it be soon.
      More idiots on this planet we don't need.

      April 7, 2013 at 11:03 pm |
      • John

        I wonder what the people of that county think of interracial marriage.

        April 8, 2013 at 9:26 am |
  48. Jack

    Ben is a complete idiot. You had no counter argument except to say racism. Nothing to dispute facts. I'm sure you never look twice at a Muslim when he boards the same plane as you.

    April 7, 2013 at 7:25 pm |
    • Matt

      I don't trust anyone. It has nothing to do with race.

      April 7, 2013 at 8:00 pm |
      • neal kelley

        Stop doing drugs... maybe that will help your paranoia...

        April 8, 2013 at 3:01 am |
    • deep blue

      How would you know someone was a Muslim when they boarded a plane with you?

      April 7, 2013 at 11:07 pm |
      • Jack

        Are you really that dumb?

        April 8, 2013 at 9:10 pm |
  49. Mouse

    And who the heck is going to hire someone with the name of "Quanesha"....I sure wouldn't....

    April 7, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
    • duh

      Yeah that is a stupid name. Almost as stupid as "Mitt" or "Newt".

      April 7, 2013 at 7:19 pm |
      • bjeff68

        Yeah, certainly not as American as barack hussein

        April 7, 2013 at 11:02 pm |
    • Susan

      So is mouse!! Trying to describe something?

      April 7, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
    • Garietta

      That is a just straight up ignorant statement. I managed to get through college, medical school, surgery residency, and fellowship without a typical name. I suspect this young woman will do the same.

      April 7, 2013 at 8:50 pm |
    • Madi

      So you're saying that her name would define her ability to be intelligent and capable of organizing an event?

      April 7, 2013 at 9:31 pm |
      • John

        Apparently the name is almost as important as skin color.

        April 8, 2013 at 9:28 am |
    • deep blue

      What kind of business makes hiring decisions based on names of potential employees? You can take your chances with John Smith. Smart employers hire based on merit.

      April 7, 2013 at 11:12 pm |
    • michele

      you are a backwards stupid redneck moron hope these kids get what they want

      April 8, 2013 at 9:53 am |
    • Joel

      Mouse change your name to rat

      April 10, 2013 at 2:38 am |
  50. L. Anderson

    Did we have a break in the time space thing – this is 2013 for god sake. Thought this crap was behind us, but I forgot this is the United States. Wow

    April 7, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
    • James A Young

      What are the odds that the people who oppose an integrated prom are Christian conservatives?
      What are the odds they vote Republican and hate Obama?

      If the answer is "high," what should that teach us about the so-called "family values" of Christian conservatism?

      April 7, 2013 at 6:53 pm |
      • honestwagner

        Wow... More prejudice from the "tolerance" crowd....

        April 7, 2013 at 7:55 pm |
      • neal kelley

        I am black and a democrat. But I have white friends who are republicans and hate obama. Just like I hated Bush when he was in office. But I will defend my friend to death if some one called him racist. Racism and politics are not the same.. so don't try to make it that! People who are racist are simply that... RACIST. Has nothing to do with republicans or democrats. In my opinion. Both parties SUCK!

        April 8, 2013 at 3:06 am |
    • Dave R

      I have to agree. I graduated here in Canada in the early 80's. Everything was integrated. We never thought about skin color and religion much. We just had friends. I am a lot older now and still find this way of thinking shocking. Even my parents didn't think that way.

      April 7, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
    • Susan

      No you just forgot the crazy wild children of Georgia!

      April 7, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
  51. Jason Wu

    That's why Asians never hold proms because this is all just a stupid event. Black versus white? bleeeh.

    April 7, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
  52. Emilia

    It is a plague
    and is all over the place now
    whites are responsible as well
    cause their extreme racism
    is just as ugly as their white skin
    one think black and whites have in common
    they dream to be beautiful as the mediterraneans
    black try to mix desperate to get as brown as possible
    whites try to tan desperate to look better
    but natural white tan skin (not brown) is a European luxury
    and a reminder of the roman empire powerful culture still strong nowadays

    April 7, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
    • luvsthecity

      Emilia thought the Roman Familia
      Was superior to other races
      In ignorance she wrote
      on Mediterranians she'd dote
      Drivel and utter nonsense
      She wrote of it in phrases
      Reaching out to other crazies
      Intending to rhymn and convince
      but with laughter we wince
      No one was swayed
      We read Darwin in our younger days
      It's all genetic
      so it's pathetic
      That Emilia infers
      That on race is better or worse than hers!

      April 7, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
      • Alvaro Dominguez

        Love it. Very good job!!

        April 7, 2013 at 7:19 pm |
      • skjdfhk

        These arguments are getting colorful.

        April 7, 2013 at 10:22 pm |
    • neal kelley

      Dude... grow up please... grow up

      April 8, 2013 at 3:08 am |
  53. Teri

    My town had segregated proms in the 70's and that continued on into the late 80's. The "white" proms were fairly formal and the "black" proms were less formal and more of a big dance party. The black kids simply didn't want to go to the more formal proms, so chose to hold their own. It had less to do with black/white, though, and more to do with difference in preferred music or dress code. One prom was more formal and the other less. That simple. Students of any color could attend whichever one they wanted and always could, although most did not. And, I grew up in one of the most segregated towns in the country.

    April 7, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • Teri

      I say "always could," but always could in the 70's and 80's. I'm sure in the 50's and 60's they could not.

      April 7, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • Ben

      I think people were just using that as a polite excuse to stay separate. By the time these behaviors manifest, these black and white kids have been pitted against each other subtly for 18 years by their inherited culture and parental indoctrinations.

      This behavior doesn't seem to be a phenomenon outside the south, and that's not a coincidence. In the rest of the country, even if the white and black cultures are just as different as they are in the south, no one thinks twice about whether to go to the same formal parties surrounding school because both cultures are not raised in overt contrast to each other.

      White and black students preferring to be so separate that they don't go to the same homecoming and prom dances is not innate to white and black culture. Only the southern one, and it is in fact pathologic.

      April 7, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
  54. shovelmemore

    Look. People keep blaming the school system for letting this happen. Did you ignorant people actually read the full article? It said the parents and students arranged the proms. So that makes it a private party. I don't agree with it, but it is what it is. So if I decide to throw a all black, or all white party in which I fund.... It is my choice. Same goes with the students.

    April 7, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • Ben

      Everyone else knows it's not the school's sanctioned prom because they can read. The next tier of ignorant up the latter (past straw-manned people who can't read) seems to be you, because it doesn't really matter whether they sponsor it or not. In doing nothing to sponsor an integrated prom and back it up with school funding, they bowed to the parents involved here to keep segregation the status quo.

      If they sponsored segregation, they'd be shut down. But that they offer no alternative to segregation in an event that is typically their job, they fail as well.

      April 7, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
    • luvsthecity

      Aren't these the same parents who are on the PTA and could encourage and support the school in throwing a prom. If they spent their energy on a school event, then it would be better for everyone. THEN talk to me about holding a private party later.

      April 7, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
  55. Bob

    This is disgraceful that this bs went on for so long. Whoever were the organizers for the previous proms should be punished severely.

    April 7, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • thebrand

      Bob, what's wrong with a private party? Parties are not regulated by the government, is that the issue you have?

      April 9, 2013 at 8:28 am |
  56. Nick Naranja

    I can't believe that is still going on. My town's high school was still segregated until the 70s, 20 years later when I graduated we were completely integrated and couldn't imagine it any other way.

    April 7, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
  57. Papawnick

    One thing society should learn and that is passing a law does not change peoples mind and beliefs. The case in point is the supreme court and gay marriage. What ever they decide will not change beliefs on the subject. But it seems that many seem to think they can force people to think and act certain ways and this will not happen. As far as the dance some will go and some will not.

    April 7, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
    • Delores

      Most of us understand "passing a law does not change peoples mind and beliefs." What would you have us do...leave unjust laws in place? As you stated, "As far as the dance some will go and some will not." What's really important are the ones who will come to the dance.

      April 7, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • Angela Birch

      No passing a law does not change people's thought and no one thinks it does. However it does allow people to have the same rights as everyone else, and in time those that think some people should have lesser rights tend to dies off and the younger generation grows up and replaces them. When Loving v Virginia passed over 70% oa Americans thought that inter racial marriage was wrong. Now it is about 10%. However in the mean time people of different races were able to marry and love each other without being arrested. Gay marriage is going to happen some will object to it for their entire lives but in time they too will be a vestigal minority.

      April 7, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • Gadflie

      Really? It won't? Haven't you notices how rare and newsworthy these segregated proms are? Don't you wonder why? It starts the ball rolling, and, like gay marriage, it's inevitable that in a few short decades, those that fought against it will be lying about which side they were on.

      April 7, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
    • Anna

      I could care less about changing the minds of bigots. I just want the right to visit my spouse in the hospital, decide what to do with her remains and get the marital tax deduction when I file my income taxes.

      April 7, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
      • Me

        Precisely. Everyone is still free to believe what they want. Laws are put in place to prevent one person's belief from unjustly affecting someone else's life.

        And if you think beliefs don't change over time, look at how shocked most people are to see racial discrimination today. Also, Google poll results on gay marriage that are broken down by age group.

        April 7, 2013 at 7:49 pm |
      • Joel

        Let's not get THE GAYS involved in this now what next ? Gay prom ? That sounds so boring right ... Like disco balls and cosmos.... And people who can actually dance

        April 10, 2013 at 2:33 am |
    • Joey Navis

      wrong. changing laws does change things in the long term. e.g. civil rights/voting rights laws. most accept them as status quo, just fifty years in, another twenty or thirty all will accept them. things don't change overnight. ya gotta start though.

      April 7, 2013 at 11:34 pm |
  58. Lady Valkris

    @Jay in NC: The 'Black' Prom did not discriminate. All were welcome to include White students. In fact the so-called 'Black' Prom had kids of all races attend as only Whites were allowed at the 'White' Prom. A bi-racial (half-White) student tried to attend the 'White' Prom and was turned away by the police. So do a little research before you espouse such accusations of racism on the other side.

    April 7, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • Fredrick Smith

      hi racism still here

      April 7, 2013 at 2:44 pm |

    Idiots simple and plain

    April 7, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
  60. Nanson Hwa

    Racism in America is still considered respectable in some social economic circles. It is a cultural European tradition transplanted to America during the days of feudalism, colonialism, subjugation of people of color, imperialism and reinforced by social Darwinism. Only when isolation, ignorance and living standards become common among all Americans will the notion of apartheid, discrimination and the social disease of racism be eradicated.

    April 7, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
  61. t-bird

    I wonder what year it will be when they finally catch up to the 21st century & allow members of the LGBT community to their prom?

    April 7, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
  62. Boris

    Wow! Sounds like the parents have been foisting their racist beliefs on their children and the children finally said, "Enough!". This is 2013 and if we are to continue to improve as a country, we should follow the good examples of our youth and resist the rigid beliefs of the mostly while, middle-aged and older white men who make most of our laws! ...and I'm a 69 year old white guy!

    April 7, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
  63. brian

    wow georgia, welcome to 1978

    April 7, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
  64. bigdicmcgee

    all this outrage about segregated proms and no one is noticing that if school vouchers go through that is exactly what you will have. The dirty little secert behind NCLB is re-segregation.

    April 7, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • John

      Oh we're well away of it. It just that stopping it when fanatics control the Supreme Court, one house of congress, and not too long ago the other house and executive branch while preaching "states rights" and "choice" to hypnotize the sheep that getting it changed is almost impossible. Especially when the sheep keep reelecting the same people who favor "choice" because they make all sort of promises that they never actually keep.

      April 7, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
  65. JanetMermaid

    This is a perfect example of what is STILL wrong with the deep south and why so many "birthers" are from there. Racism is alive and well, albeit in this case disguised in taffeta and rhinestones.

    April 7, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
    • Kris

      This is not only prevalent in the South. Plenty of this goes on in Northern states too.

      April 8, 2013 at 10:19 am |
  66. Name*tony

    So what prom did all the non-white non-african american students go to prior to this one

    April 7, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • Ben

      Probably the black one, as a biracial student was turned away from this county school's white prom last year by police.
      It's no surprise that it's some of the black students who are organizing integration.

      April 7, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
      • Jack

        They have no choice. Nobody wants to have them around. Lazy and useless. Me liberal when you get on a plane and see a Muslim I'm sure you never do double take or have a negative thought.

        April 7, 2013 at 7:28 pm |
  67. Lisako McKyer

    Just let those of us more evolved humans (Of all backgrounds . . .Black, white, red, yellow, purple with orange spots) know where you live, so that we can ensure to avoid being your neighbor. I wouldn't subject my children or my goldfish to your bigotry!

    April 7, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
  68. rjblock

    How sickening this all is.

    I would fire every administrator in any district that has a segregated prom – no questions asked. I would not even allow them to make amends – the damage has been done. I would start right at the top of the state food chain with the director of education right on down to the level of school principal.

    April 7, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
  69. jm

    Private money should not be used to sponsor Public school events, unless everyone is welcome. Some donors are still stuck in the 50s.

    April 7, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
  70. John

    I wonder if these folks would vote for marriage equality?

    April 7, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
  71. ss

    Good for Wilcox County Superintendent Steve Smith, unbelievable that this is still an issue, yes these are "private parties" but I am glad someone with some sense bravely spoke on the issue officially. Violent acts seen to always come from those who favor oppression, segregation, and bigotry.

    April 7, 2013 at 11:53 am |
  72. Flabbergasted

    Segregated Proms?! Appalling! Our Aussie Schools have students from so many different cultures, everyone graduates together. If we had segregation, there would need to be over 20 different proms, lol. Segregation should not even be allowed, such ignorance is quite sad. This make my stomach sick, segregation, ugh. We like our multicultural schools, people are people.

    April 7, 2013 at 11:47 am |
    • Andrew R.

      As an American I am appalled by this as well but, luckily this stuff is mainly confined to backwards towns in the south. In Phoenix where I am from this is something that would never happen, and Arizona is still a very conservative state, however sadly there is still racism throughout the US but it is far less extreme and confined to small pockets as opposed to entire towns.

      April 7, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
  73. Marla

    WOW! I can't believe I am reading this. I am Canadian and segregated proms would never ever happen, ever.

    April 7, 2013 at 11:44 am |
  74. Ceanna

    I think they should decide whether they want separate proms or proms altogether after all its their prom so shouldn't it be their decision

    April 7, 2013 at 11:41 am |
    • Ben

      Sometimes you shouldn't let ignorant people just do what they want simply because they can. Racism runs down social hereditary lines. Their preference to segregate is a taught behavior. The problem in letting this community do whatever they want is that their poor choices are learned by these kids, and perpetuated.

      Doesn't have to be like that. It's not like that in most other areas of the country, and the world. For as different as the black and white culture are elsewhere, we still consider ourselves to have enough in common to go to dances together.

      When you argue that learned racism is ok to pass on to these kids as an inheritance, you're going to have a hard time winning.

      April 7, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • duh

      No. Clearly these people aren't fit for decision making.

      April 7, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
  75. Name*Tina

    Is there a third prom given to Asians? Fourth if you are latino? Where does the insanity end? These kids must suffer from culture shock entering college or just leaving their state!

    April 7, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • Jay in NC

      Suffer from culture shock just leaving their state? Are you talking about the black students or the white students?
      I guess both would be in shock if they move to the north and find out that there are fewer black people. And that true segregation is alive and well in NY, Detroit, Chicago and LA.

      April 7, 2013 at 11:50 am |
      • jon t banning

        i cant believe you would make a comment like that, there is no segregation in new jersey or new york i grew up there and for you to say something like that says YOU are misinformed and this story is in georgia. You should check yourself before you make STUPID comments like that

        April 7, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
      • Joe Shmoe

        jon t banning, i think he is referring to de facto, not de jure, segregation.

        April 7, 2013 at 9:54 pm |
    • Camila

      I don't think Latin and latinos have the same issues as the blacks
      european latinos where always the ones with the cute color
      and allowed in the white parties just like everyone else.
      The native american and latin mix mexicans probably where not allowed
      and more welcome in their own events.

      April 7, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
  76. Yancy Dennis

    Wow - unbelievable that students would allow this to continue - racism is alive and well

    April 7, 2013 at 11:34 am |
    • Jay in NC

      You do realize that the black students also had their no white prom.

      April 7, 2013 at 11:51 am |
      • Rufus

        Jay, that's too much truth for some people to accept.

        April 7, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
      • Anna

        I'm sorry but that is flat false. When federal civil rights legislation made school-sponsored segregated events illegal, many schools in the south simply stopped sponsoring such events altogether and the white parents organized private events to keep black kids out. With no event that welcomed them, minority kids created their own events. There is not one story of a non-black kid being denied entry into a black-sponsored event.

        April 7, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
      • XDFG


        April 10, 2013 at 7:22 am |
    • Camila

      For some of us. Black people is just
      very ugly people
      we can be kind
      but to eat looking at their dark faces is a bit too much.

      April 7, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
      • mjt

        Hate to tell you this, but there are plenty of ugly white people in this world too. People like you – I would never eat a meal with someone like you. Breaks my heart there are people like you still in my country.

        April 9, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
      • VM

        ... you are disgusting... I cannot believe that horrible people like you still exist, jerk. I agree with mjt, I would never want to eat around you because it would be too hard too keep my food down.

        April 10, 2013 at 7:12 pm |
      • marianne

        camila, rhianna is known to be one of the most beautiful women on the planet. I hear when people see her in person, they are in awe. Ugly is in the heart only, it comes from hate. I am so sorry for you dear. I hope you overcome it one day. I cannot blame you entirely. Children who are raised to love all, never can imagine the kind of hatred you hold in your heart. It grows over the years and becomes a sickness. Camila, Get Well Soon! ok yes i am white, i just wasnt raised to hate anyone.

        April 14, 2013 at 9:17 am |
  77. Rs

    And this is why we can't usually "leave it up to the state"

    April 7, 2013 at 11:29 am |
    • Sla

      This has nothing to do with state government. Please stop trying to make a square fit it a round hole.

      April 7, 2013 at 11:38 am |
  78. CG

    Never realized that until 2012, there was a place in the US where students had segregated proms.. So backwards.

    April 7, 2013 at 11:14 am |
    • BillName*

      Best thing I have heard regarding race in a long time. All you white people saying racism is wrong blah blah blah how many of you have black neighbors? How many of you have watched the areas you grew up in turn to a ghetto once they move in? Look at what they did on the mag mile? And how can you say something to a white person when they say the n word when they walk around and freely call each other the n word. Sorry I can't respect that.

      April 7, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
      • Ben

        You don't have to respect that. Best we can hope is that you can take your racism to your grave without infecting, say, a group of highschool kids to replace you.

        April 7, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
  79. Say what?

    I think what people are forgetting is the freedom to choose who to hang with. This isn't always bigotry as some might think. People want to hang with their own group, and not everybody is willing to be the only "insert race" at a place. You cant make people like, or be grouped together, no matter how much you want it to be. We will always have race issues. The thing is not to force something on to others, after all, it is a protected right.

    April 7, 2013 at 11:11 am |
    • Patrick in Wisconsin

      Very true. If you don't want to go to [a racially integrated] prom like the rest of America, you don't have to. You have every right to pout all night and get high off of rubbing alcohol.

      April 7, 2013 at 11:42 am |
      • Jay in NC

        Wisconsin is known for having very diverse racially mixed schools.

        April 7, 2013 at 11:54 am |
      • Adam

        The commentator earlier mentioned "everyone calming down and taking a deep breath". The funny thing is the people screaming bloody murder over 'racism' and 'ignorance' are the ones being the most outlandish.

        Oh...and what would a person from lily white Wisconsin know about any of this?

        April 7, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
  80. Tutuvabene

    Would have like to have heard from the organizers of the segregated proms on their side of the story.

    April 7, 2013 at 11:06 am |
    • Rs

      Watch "prom night in Mississippi"... The segregationist parents have no excuse except for their "traditions" and that's "how it always was". It's flat out racist.

      April 7, 2013 at 11:32 am |
      • Jay in NC

        I have a challenge for all my Liberal friends. You love diversity, think that only white people are racist. How about visiting Detroit, or the 'black' part of any major city. Walk down the streets, enjoy your visit, wave to the residents, embrace your fellow humans. You will learn what racism truly feels like.

        April 7, 2013 at 11:57 am |
  81. Tutuvabene

    Now students can have it in all three flavors; white, black or salt and pepper. Something for everyone.

    April 7, 2013 at 11:04 am |
  82. Mark Diamanti

    Clearly this town was missed during Reconstruction. Make no mistake, the South is still full of hate-filled bigots. It is an embarrassment to America and indeed "conservative" white Southerners have held back America and Americans for years. We don't need an "activist" Supreme Court? Interracial marriage was forced on the racist South more than four decades ago. I wonder how an interracial couple fairs in this town of bigots? I wonder how their children fair? The town should be embarrassed. Those children are braver than they know. I just hope the "conservatives" of the town don't bring out their white sheets and burning crosses.

    April 7, 2013 at 10:47 am |
    • Say what?

      how is this hate? because a group doesn't want to be a part of another? That isn't hate. Just like if a group of people want a party without "...", just because you don't like it or feel it should be another way, doesn't mean its wrong. This isn't funding by the public/tax payers money so I really don't care what they do as long as they aren't breaking the laws. and having a good time. Think you are making a big issues out of nothing.

      April 7, 2013 at 11:16 am |
      • Carney

        Point is that you force young people to try new things. This is called learning and growing. You do NOT allow them to choose because they're too young to make relevant choices, they have to be taught. If you ask your young child if he wants to eat his greens at dinner, of course he/she will say no. If you make it mandatory, they grow to be healthier adults.

        After the teaching and learning, and after they reach major age, then they can make their choices. In the meantime, they have to eat their spinach. Get it?

        April 15, 2013 at 8:51 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      The south is no more racist than the rest of the nation. I've encountered more racism in the New England states. The problem with the south is that they are so mired in religion that it stunts their emotional and intellectual growth.

      April 7, 2013 at 11:22 am |
    • Mo

      This is not hate...just one group not willing to want to be with another group. This is no different than my country club neighbor that refuses to rub elbows with me because I cannot afford the country club, and my house is more rundown than his. We fuel the fire with the racist remarks. When we continue to look at it as though its the whites that hate the blacks, it will continue. These kids are doing the right thing, and standing up for each other, regardless of race. They are taking the race out of it; so should you.

      April 7, 2013 at 11:57 am |
    • Etta

      With all due respect I have to disrespect with your assessment of Georgia and the South. Just because Wilcox hold segregated proms doesn't mean that the rest of Georgia is like that I'm a Georgian. I went to mixed schools and proms. Never had any idea with " private proms " were until I head about Wilcox county. Ive always went to fully mixed proms. I even knew people who went to other schools and had the same experience.

      Though people too often look down on the South for holding segregated proms there have been instances where the same thing happened in Illinois, California and Indiana.Yet, nobody talked about this because I guess people in those states are supposed to be racially together. It doesn't matter in the matter it happened in, its still racism and segregation
      People may criticize Georgia for this prom,but Im not trusting of places where racism isn't acknowledged. If you ask the average non Southerner about racism in their state most will tell you "It don't happen here" ,"It's just subtle racism" " Or it only happens in the South". OMG! those has has to be some of the biggest lies Ive ever heard! Either they are in serious denial or naive about it. I just talked about 3 of them with two holding segregated proms and one a separate graduations( the UCLA). I can list more,but it would take me ages to do it.

      If there is one thing Ive learned about non- Southern racism is that it is tricky. Initially the person will come off friendly ,but somewhere down the line, their racism come out in a sly manner. In the South they will be honest with their racism. While I deplore racism of any kind, if I were to experience it, I would rather for that Southern person to be honest about their racism and get it over with than lets say a Northern person who will smile your face and stab you in the back with it. I often had to deal with that in the North no matter how " mixed" it was.

      I think that my state is getting a bad rap over something that can happen ..or have happened in other states. What happened in Wilcox County doesn't represent all the people of Georgia or the South. I don't care if a 100 people would have thrown a segregated prom,it doesn't represent everybody who live in those enclaves. I will guarantee that if this was Wilcox County, California, New York or Washington( state) nobody would put those places down. Just because Wilcox chose to have separate proms doesn't make a state racist. Stuff like this happens like this everyday that has nothing to do with proms

      April 13, 2013 at 10:52 pm |
  83. mhub

    So, parents have been creating a defacto segregation due to their own prejudices? It's good to see the kids finally coming around – sorry it took them so long.

    April 7, 2013 at 10:27 am |
  84. Lonewolf

    It is amazing that we still have places in the good old USA that are still hanging on to vestiges of outright segregation. And some folks want to swear up and down that racism does not exist in the America. Well, here you have a good example that racism is alive and well!

    April 7, 2013 at 9:44 am |
    • Steve

      You do realize that they are doing it to themselves right? They are going to separate events because that's seemingly what they want to do.

      April 7, 2013 at 10:19 am |
      • Name*ty

        You're a moron

        April 7, 2013 at 10:39 am |
      • Mark Diamanti

        No, the parents organized the events. The root of this goes back to the days of integration when white parents didn't want their children to dance with black kids. This "tradition," actually a racist cancer and embarrassment, has just continued on. This is an excellent example of how backwards parts of the South can still be. This is why the Supreme Court must act to eliminate hateful discrimination against gay people marrying, as they did 40 years ago against interracial marriage. I imagine an interracial couple in this town would be in danger and face discrimination. They must be dragged into the 20th century... we'll work on the 21st later. I am embarrassed this town is part of America. We need the occupation of reconstruction back!

        April 7, 2013 at 10:43 am |
  85. they call me joe

    After all these years, there is still a problem? Wow

    April 7, 2013 at 9:09 am |
  86. sarcasm55

    here's an unspoken fear: if we let them dance together, God forbid, next thing you know they may want to go to church together! then all hell might break lose and things might change and not stop changing... (sarcasm)

    April 7, 2013 at 9:00 am |
  87. BEM684

    And CNN will be there to analyze whether or not the black and white students dance together on the dance floor! If they don't, the reader should be made to feel ashamed because it's the reader's fault!

    April 7, 2013 at 8:33 am |
    • Surfer George

      That is an incredibly odd takeaway.
      We MIGHT feel "ashamed," saddened or offended even by the fact that in the 21st CENTURY there would still be that kind of ignorance, and, perhaps, I suppose, if they are related to the students they might feel some kind of shame for their family members, but racists (who SHOULD FEEL ASHAMED of themselves) will not.

      April 7, 2013 at 9:33 am |
  88. BhamJim

    Brings back some memories. Our first HS prom at our brand new school was just 2 years after desegregation in the 1960s, but prom was integrated. The new school in a new zone had a lot to do with the success of integration, because it brought a lot of kids together who didn't know each other before then. The kids who seemed to be college bound had fewer problems with desegregated activities like student government and the prom. Only about 25% of our class went on to college, so that left a size able group of kids who felt differently – primarily a large group of "red necks" and an equally large group of black students, and neither of these antagonistic groups embraced desegregation while I was in HS.

    April 7, 2013 at 8:28 am |
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