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Wilcox County Students Attend Whites-Only Prom in Georgia

It may be 2013, but students at a Georgia high school made national headlines Saturday night by holding their first-ever integrated prom. However, a CBS Atlanta News investigation, revealed segregation is still very much alive in the school system, despite the new developments.

Wilcox County High School is located three hours south of Atlanta. For decades, parents have funded and organized prom, not the school system. They’ve hosted a “white” prom and a prom for everybody else. Because it’s a private event, no laws are broken.

However, this year, a group of students, two white girls and two black girls, became frustrated with the tradition and worked together to organize an integrated prom.

They faced a lot of opposition. “I put up posters for the integrated prom, and we’ve had people ripping them down at school,” one student told a Macon-based T.V. station.

Despite the students holding a prom designed to include everybody, CBS Atlanta News discovered the “white” prom still took place. It was held in Fitzgerald, Georgia, on April 20. No one confirmed it was a “white-only” event, but dozens of white kids, dressed in prom gowns and tuxes, attended. CBS Atlanta News never saw anyone of color the entire night.

Most of the attendees refused to talk to CBS Atlanta News. They, instead, ignored our questions or spoke angrily. “Lady, get out of my face,” snapped one father when asked why he was there.

Another father threatened to sue CBS Atlanta News, and yet another ordered us to turn off our cameras. At one point, the police were even called even though we were breaking no laws by remaining outside of the event on a public sidewalk.

The Reverend Raphael Warnock, Ph.D., said he was surprised to learn the segregated proms were still taking place. He’s the Senior Pastor at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., once preached. “The state of Georgia has a sad and painful history in this regard,” he said when asked about segregation…

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