Wilcox County Residents React to Integrated Prom

6:53 PM, Apr 15, 2013   |    comments
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In the span of a week, Wilcox County has found itself at the center of international attention as students fight to create the first racially integrated prom in the county's history.

Currently, the school does not sponsor any proms, and what students call their prom is actually a private party funded by students and parents. Over the years, that has meant self-segregated "white" and "black" proms.

Now, after media attention put a spotlight on the county, school officials are looking into sponsoring an integrated prom for the next school year in 2014.

Some in Wilcox County say they're unhappy with the attention. Gary Gordon from Pitts says his prom was segregated, but that both races agreed to it. "We had a choice to have an integrated one, but we always chose to have a segregated one."

He said the separate proms "cause less problems between blacks and whites."

Others say that shining a light on what's happening in the county is a good thing.

"I'm glad it's out in the open," says Sierra McGill from Rochelle. "They've been hiding in this closet for a long time, one skeleton that's not been shown."

They say the segregated proms are unfair, especially since the county comes together for almost everything else, especially high school football, which is almost a religion to Wilcox County residents who support their Patriots.

"We're all human beings," says Barbara Adams. "Why can't we get along?"

Despite the negative attention, they say it's all part of the process of change, and they hope solving the segregated prom issue will be make the county they love even better.

"We have to swallow our pride, forget our past, and do what we need to do," says Terry McCoy.

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