Racially segregated proms continue in Mississippi

Karol Collymore

From the New York Times:

About now, high-school seniors everywhere slip into a glorious sort of limbo. Waiting out the final weeks of the school year, they begin rightfully to revel in the shared thrill of moving on. It is no different in south-central Georgia’s Montgomery County, made up of a few small towns set between fields of wire grass and sweet onion. The music is turned up. Homework languishes. The future looms large. But for the 54 students in the class of 2009 at Montgomery County High School, so, too, does the past. On May 1 — a balmy Friday evening — the white students held their senior prom. And the following night — a balmy Saturday — the black students had theirs.

Read the rest over there.

  • Garrett (unverified)

    Strange. I read this tweet and immediately thought Mississippi street in Portland rather than Mississippi the state in the South.

    In first reaction considering street vs. state...I wasn't surprised.

    That's kind of sad. If I would have tagged this in twitter... #gentrificationsucks

  • (Show?)

    wait...people still go to prom?

  • Kelly (unverified)

    Funny how anyone could vote away civil rights in any state, and not see a connection to segregation.

  • (Show?)

    Sounds like the club scene in much of Portland.

    Is the music segregated to? It seems only fair the white prom kids should have to do all their dancing to Toby Keith; Kid Rock being a little too funky.

    Where do all those Mississippian-Ugandan-Indians I keep hearing about go to prom? ; )

  • mara (unverified)

    Maybe I shouldn't have been stunned reading this story, but I was. We clearly still have a lot of work to do to address racism, but I usually think of it as addressing the the somewhat subtler and more insidious Racism 2.0/new racism (which I've read as believing in a colorblind society while ignoring the systemic effects of racial inequality). So much for overt racism being a relic of our country's past.

  • joel dan walls (unverified)

    Something must be wrong with the comment function. By now, at least a couple of wingnuts ought to have posted remarks asserting that Karol is a racist for writing about this. EDITOR, PLEASE HELP!! BRING BACK STEPHAN ANDREW BRODHEAD!!!

  • travesti (unverified)

    Here is a very helpful summary that was passed on to me by a friend.

  • andy (unverified)

    Wow, kids hang out with their own friends and stay in their comfort zone. Big yawn Karol.

  • travesti (unverified)

    Thank you very much for this useful article and the comments. I love this site as it contains good

  • blueshift (unverified)

    Those of you who are suggesting this isn't a big deal must not have read past the part of the article Karol posted. If you had, you would have learned that the black kids and the white kids would rather have a prom together, but that while white kids are permitted to attend the black prom, black kids are not permitted to attend the prom put on by the white kids' parents. You would also learn that this means that kids can't go to prom with their boyfriends/girlfriends, if they don't happen to be of the same skin color.

    Both these proms are paid for by parents, and are not hosted by the school. In the article, the principle said he wouldn't support a school-sponsored prom because apparently they tried that once back in 1995 and it wasn't a success. If you ask me, it seems like 1995 was awhile ago now, and maybe it's worth another shot, if it means eliminating a particularly cruel and insidious form of segregation.

  • CSA (unverified)

    Not Mississippi!!!!! GEORGIA!

  • rlw (unverified)

    This is really sad. The sociological point about kids hanging with their own self-selecting/homogeneous groupings does NOT have to be helped along by explicit segregation on the part of parents and cosigned by lazy school administration who lack commitment to wholeness. The kids might in fact decide to hang in their own clusters, but AT THE SAME FUNCTION, for pete's sake. The drive to indentity and heirarchy is strong at that age, of course: but what the adults are practicing bears NO resemblance to the phenomenon exhibited by the teens.

    My kid, very identifiably native, mixed with EVERY kind of group and bitterly identified how little the adults often cared about certain culture groups - mainly the hispanic kids. He probably mixed so much b/c there weren't really more than a couple like him, but also because we are fiercely bought into that as an ethos in our family....

    Thanks for bringing this forward.

  • 642-456 (unverified)
    <h2>According to me, it’s a funny thing. How it is possible for anybody to vote away national human rights in whichever state, and not look at an association to isolation. I don’t think so.</h2>

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