The concept of segregated proms in the South shocked people when the AJC and other newspapers wrote about it a few years back. The first question from readers was how this could still be happening.
It happens because the proms are not officially school events, although a great deal of promoting and planning by students occurs within schools. Since the proms are private parties held off campus without any school funds, schools disavow any control over the events, which are organized by parents and students and reflect historic and lingering racial divides.
In the news this week is an effort by students in Wilcox County High School to finally end the tradition there of segregated proms. Homecoming dances are also segregated there.
The teens are trying to raise money for an “Integrated Prom,” which would be the first ever in the rural Georgia county.