The New York Times recently ran a disturbing story about Montgomery County High School in Mount Vernon, Georgia. Since it became integrated in 1971, it has held segregated proms.
Students had mixed opinions on the issue. Those in favor or indifferent cited tradition as the main reason. One girl who is white believes it is not a major issue, claiming it is “not about being racist…we all eat lunch together.” Her mother adds, “Why change something that has worked? It’s not broken.” On the other hand, Kera Nobles, a black student, reveals, “It really is hurtful. I go to school with you…I sit beside you at graduation, but I can’t go to prom with you for one night?”
Unfortunately Montgomery County High School is not a unique case. Actor Morgan Freeman offered to pay for an integrated prom for Charleston High School in his home state of Mississippi. While the students expressed interest, a number of white parents decided to hold a private whites-only prom.
High school student Angel Howard sums it up when she says, “I wish color wouldn’t be such a big factor in Montgomery County, period…The prom is the least of our problems.”
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