Apr 4, 2013

Jim Crow Under the Stars: How Georgia is Bringing Segregation Back, One Prom at a Time

Photo via Your Daily Chum.

Can you remember your prom?

"Tiki Lagoon" at the cheese-tastic Kowloon restaurant.
I can remember mine. 

My best friend Shana and I double-dated that night.  We started off with pictures at my house, Shana in a fabulous birthday cake of a dress from Sarah Fredericks, me in a gauzy pink number my mom had picked up at Filene's Basement.  Then it was off to the iconic Kowloon restaurant in scenic Saugus, MA, for virgin cocktails and greasy Polynesian fare.  Later--after my date had finished puking up his moo goo gai pan alongside Route 1--we embarked upon a night of grooving to MC Hammer and the Beastie Boys in the function hall at Quincy Market, where the romantic theme of the evening was "Jim Crow Under the Stars".

Oh wait, that wasn't our prom theme!

I'm getting us confused with Wilcox County High School in southern Georgia again.  I hate it when I do that.

The Huffington Post:

The school holds separate proms for white and non-white students. Homecoming is also normally segregated, with separate courts for each race.
If a student attempted to cross the segregation divide "They would probably have the police come out there and escort them off the premises," said [a student at the high school].
Mail Online reports that the school has not broken any civil rights laws because it doesn't actually sponsor the segregated prom dances - or any prom dance, for that matter. Instead, parents and students are responsible for organizing and funding the private events

Yes, you read that right.  Segregated proms (not to mention a segregated homecoming as well).

And if you're wondering how they solve the problem of biracial students, it appears that the folks in Wilcox still follow the good ol' one drop rule. 

A biracial student was actually turned away by police at the white prom last year. And when the school decided to elect only one pair for homecoming queen and king for the first time this school year — mmhmm, homecoming is segregated, too — and one of the integrated prom-organizing students won, she still wasn't allowed to attend the white homecoming. The king and queen took separate pictures for the school yearbook.

Wait, "integrated prom-organizing students"? 

Yes, that's right--a few folks evidently not residing in pre-Civil War Georgia have taken it upon themselves to initiate another prom in Wilcox County.  The segregated proms will still take place, but for those students who prefer formalwear to white hoods, all will be welcome at the new event

If you want to show your support to the brave individuals organizing the Wilcox County integrated prom, you can "like" them here on Facebook.  Better yet, donate to their cause here.

One final note: Today, April 4, 2013, marks the 45th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Keep the dream alive.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.