News: Segregation Still Exists!

Every year around the middle of springtime, maybe later, high schoolers prepare for their proms. Of course we all know that prom night is what most of us looked forward to that whole school year, and you knew that you were going to have a great time partying all night with all of your friends. Never once does it cross our minds that we could be could be seperated from our friends simply because of our race. It's something that the kids now take for granted becauseat least 99% of them have never had to experience anything like this. But in one small county in Georgia, this very same scenario has been occuring for decades, even now.

Just south of Atlanta, sits Montgomery County, which consists of several small towns that have populations no more than 2500 each. At Montgomery County High School, there is only 54 students in the senior class, and these kids are experiencing segregation at it's best.

Believe it or not, on May 1st, at the town community center in Vidalia, the white students had their prom; and on May 2nd, the black students had their prom at the same exact place. Same school, same event, same place; But still seperated because of their race.

Yes this is 2009 and our schools, churches, restaurants, etc... have all been desegregated for decades, but the small minded whites in Montgomery County still want things seperate. In Montgomery County, two-thirds of the population is white. Since 1971, when it's schools were integrated, Montgomery County still continued to hold seperate proms for their black and white students. The funny thing is... these people truly believe that proms such as these are "traditions" and they don't want them to change. Luckily for a few of the other towns, some of the smarter people have chosen to opt for change and adopt the ways of the modern world of today.

Last year, in his hometown of Charleston, Mississippi, actor Morgan Freeman offered to pay for the towns first integrated prom at Charleston High School. Unfortunately, despite his success, and notoriety, Freeman's offer was quickly shot down by the white parents, but dully embraced by ALL the students. What ended up happening? The white parents held their own "private prom". This exact situation is the reason why HBO has decided to do a documentary called "Prom Night in Mississippi,” which airs on the network in July.

The senior proms held by Montgomery County High School students — referred to by many students as “the black-folks prom” and “the white-folks prom” — are organized outside school through student committees with the help of parents. All students are welcome at the black prom, though generally few if any white students show up. The white prom, students say, remains governed by a largely unspoken set of rules about who may come. Black members of the student council say they have asked school administrators about holding a single school-sponsored prom, but that, along with efforts to collaborate with white prom planners, have failed.

According to Timothy Wiggs, the outgoing student council president and one of 21 black students graduating this year, “We just never get anywhere with it.” Principal Luke Smith says the school has no plans to sponsor a prom, noting that when it did so in 1995, attendance was poor. Students of both races say that interracial friendships are common at Montgomery County High School. Black and white students also date one another, though often out of sight of judgmental parents. “Most of the students do want to have a prom together,” says Terra Fountain, a white 18-year-old who graduated from Montgomery County High School last year and is now living with her black boyfriend. “But it’s the white parents who say no. … They’re like, if you’re going with the black people, I’m not going to pay for it.” “It’s awkward,” acknowledges JonPaul Edge, a senior who is white. “I have as many black friends as I do white friends. We do everything else together. We hang out. We play sports together. We go to class together. I don’t think anybody at our school is racist.” Trying to explain the continued existence of segregated proms, Edge falls back on the same reasoning offered by a number of white students and their parents. “It’s how it’s always been,” he says. “It’s just a tradition.”

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