NAACP leaders discuss segregated prom in Wilcox Co. - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

NAACP leaders discuss segregated prom in Wilcox Co.

ABBEVILLE, GA (WALB) -

There's a new turn in the segregated prom story in Wilcox County.

The high school has never sponsored a prom, so black students and white students have always attended separate private dances.

Students are now organizing the first integrated prom and state NAACP leaders asked the school board to sponsor one official prom for everyone, Tuesday night.

"This is a disgrace. It looks bad on this county and it looks bad on the state of Georgia," said Georgia NAACP President Edward DuBose.

Strong words from DuBose who met with Wilcox County School Board members as news crews from around the state looked on.

Currently the school system doesn't fund a prom at Wilcox County High School and private organizers fund an all white prom. No minority students are allowed.

Parents, teachers and civil rights leaders want to see a change next year.

"Shame on you. Shame on any parents who continue to embrace the politics of segregation. Shame on you. You're not doing your children any service. In fact, you're doing them a disservice," said DuBose.

Toni Rucker is the mother of one of the students organizing an integrated prom at their school.

Although she says national attention wasn't the objective, she's proud her daughter's actions brought light to something that's been going on for decades.

"They have touched other counties, people and children. It's not really their dream, it's an extension of Dr. Martin Luther King's dream," said Rucker.

"I see change coming, always and we're all about trying to improve each and every day," said Wilcox County School Superintendent Steve Smith.

Now, school board members will form a leadership team at the high school to see if a school funded prom will be possible for the upcoming school year.

Smith says he's glad to see students standing up for what they believe in.

"The positive is, we have students stepping out and leading. We have teachers and administrators who are willing to step out and say we want change and we want change for the good," said Smith.

"Your children are ready to embrace integration. Your children are ready to embrace diversity. The only thing that can hold the students back are the parents," said DuBose.

Some good news came out of this, people from around the country who saw the story donated more than $15,000 to the students who spoke out and they'll be able to have their integrated prom.

That prom will be held April 27th at the Community Clubhouse in Cordele.

The $15,000 will pay for food and tickets for seniors.

Some money will also be put aside for next year.

 

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