Wilcox County High Students Fight to End Segregated Proms

7:29 AM, Apr 5, 2013   |    comments
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In a small town like Abbeville, students have grown up with each other since elementary school.

"We're basically siblings," says Keela Bloodworth. "We've spent more time together than anyone else."

But in Wilcox County, these high school seniors can't spend time together at prom because it's one of the only counties left where dances are still segregated by race.

"They always had the quote-unquote 'white prom' and the 'black prom'," Bloodworth explains.

The segregated proms are allowed because the school board is officially not involved with school dances. They're private events run by parents, who have created the "white prom" for years and excluded black children.

But this year, things are beginning to change. For the first time, Wilcox County High School allowed an intergrated homecoming court. But even after Quanesha Wallace was elected Homecoming Queen, she wasn't allowed to the "white" homecoming party because she's black.

"Hearing from other students that I couldn't, they didn't want me to go, it kind of saddened my heart a little," said Wallace.

So this year, Wallace and her friends are taking matters into their own hands by creating an integrated prom.

That's meant booking DJ's, making fliers, and hammering out all the details. But while they've faced some backlash from their community, they've gotten an onslaught of support worldwide.

So far, they say half of the white students in their grade have already signed on to go to their prom instead of the white only prom.

It will be held on April 27th at the Crisp County Community Clubhouse in Cordele.

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