It surprises me when others are surprised that we live in world where bigotry and intolerance are still very much in style. While laws can and are being changed to make some attitudes no longer the law of the land, the sad fact is that changing hearts and minds is far harder. Yet the younger generations are coming of age in a world where technological savvy is making it easier to break down the walls of intolerance and they can find the support outside of their communities to make it happen.
That is the case in a small town in Georgia, where a group of lifelong friends and high school seniors are working to change their school’s tradition of a white’s only prom. Yes, you read that correctly. In 2013 at the Wilcox County High School, they hold a whites only prom and they aren’t even breaking any laws since the proms are held off site and are privately financed. Since the school itself is integrated, they apparently hold two proms, hell they even hold two homecoming dances. Though in a nod to modernity this past year they apparently had one homecoming court but the dances were separate because heaven help us if the whites and the blacks dance together!
The girls who are spearheading this change are simply kids who have known each other since the 4th grade but since they are a mixed race group, sorry…you cannot mark this big moment in your lives together.
Well, this story is gaining traction and the girls are trying to raise cash to put on a dance where they can all be together. Though from news reports, it seems even amongst their peers, not everyone is keen on change. One of the young ladies was quoted as saying
“We need to stick with the tradition,” Quanesha said mockingly. “This is a traditional thing we don’t need to change and stuff like that, but why? No one can answer my question.”
Quanesha, sometimes people are clueless and you do have to create your own change. So from a Black Girl in Maine who could be your Mama, I am going to help you and your girls out by making sure your story is heard near and far. I want y’all to have the best damn prom ever and it is my hope that one day you can tell your kiddos about how silly things used to be.
All it takes is a few brave and willing souls to affect change. To the grown-ups in charge, I say poo on you; change is the only constant in life other than taxes and death. The time has come to let go of irrational fears and end this tradition of a white’s only prom, it is bigoted and hateful.