Bridging the Divide: Wilcox County High School Students Hold First Integrated Prom

By ABC News

Apr 28, 2013 4:07pm

For any teenager, prom is a monumental night, but for students at a Georgia high school, it has been more than 40 years in the making.

For the first time ever, students at Wilcox County High School, in Rochelle, Ga. danced together at a prom that wasn’t segregated.

For decades, the school board has avoided officially endorsing prom festivities, instead relying on parents to host and control invitations leading to year after year of two dances — one for white students, and one for the black students.

abc integrated prom jt 130428 wblog Bridging the Divide: Wilcox County High School Students Hold First Integrated Prom

ABC News

Students have lobbied over the years to end the practice. This year, a group of Wilcox County seniors decided to take matters into their own hands.

RELATED: No More Boundaries: Ga. Teens Fed Up With Segregated Proms

The four girls, two black and two white, created a Facebook page asking for support and donations to fund an independent bash open to all.

“We were doing that so we could get the word out, so that some people would be able to donate and help us out with what we were doing,” said senior Mareshia Rucker.

RELATED: Prom Costs Rise 5 Percent to National Average of $1,139

On Saturday night, nearly half of the school’s student body came out to the event.

“Hopefully when everything is said and done, people in our county will really realize, that there is no sense in the way things are right now,” Rucker told ABC News affiliate WGXA.

Despite this year’s groundbreaking integrated dance, once again this year there was a segregated prom attended only by white students.

It wasn’t an officially sanctioned event, but a private one organized by white parents.

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