Who knew some school proms - and homecomings - were still segregated?
Many are finding out thanks to a group of students in Wilcox County, Georgia, who are pushing to integrate their prom. Already, Wilcox County High School has broken with tradition: Only one homecoming court was chosen this year, instead of two - one white, one black.
The story has picked up steam nationally in recent days as liberal groups have begun to use the segregated prom as an issue.
According to a story in the Atlanta Constitution Journal, and other local news accounts, events unfolded when friends since the fourth grade - Stephanie Sinnot, Mareshia Rucker, Quanesha Wallace and Keela Bloodworth - realized they couldn’t be together on prom night because the school had always held two dances.
“For me to be black and the king to be white, I felt like, why can’t we come together? I felt like there had to be a change,” Wallace was quoted on ajc.com. Wallace was not invited to attend what many refer to as the “white” prom.
The teens are part of a larger group of students organizing a prom for everyone to attend, called the “Integrated Prom.” But there is resistance. Some posters for the prom have been ripped down from walls at the school.
But the students are undeterred. They have setup an Integrated Prom Facebook page and are seeking donations to fund the off-campus event.
The local school board has stayed out of the controversy, saying the prom is a private event held off-campus and is not sponsored by the school.
The fight to integrate the prom has reached the governor’s office, and drawn liberals into the fray. At issue was a statement released by the governor's spokesman regarding the involvement of a progressive group. The statement used the term "publicity stunt." The snippet was picked up by some as meaning the governor was calling the integrated prom a publicity stunt.
In fact, the spokesman for the governor told Fox 24 that the statement was taken out of context.. The statement actually was in reference to a progressive group's involvement. “This is a leftist front group for the state Democratic party and we’re not going to lend a hand to their silly publicity stunt,” the statement said.
Deal hasn’t taken a public position on the prom, deciding to allow local participants to decide. Meanwhile, the Democratic Governors Association has weighed in, urging Deal to take a stand.