Oh so I can’t come to the Prom because I’m Black?!!

I’ll be 39yrs old this year, and I vaguely remembered my prom. When you’re 17 or 18yrs old graduating from high school it’s probably as close as one can get to being a star for one night in a Hollywood sorta way as far as proms go. Even still, I vaguely remember mine. This is why for the last few years our email inbox have been flooded with these ugly “ghetto prom” pics. You know, kinda like the one posted above? Even though my memory is shot on my prom, I seriously doubt whether there were kids dressed as ridiculous as I have seen in recent years. Yup, formal wear just ain’t the same anymore.

As much as I hate seeing pictures of junior pimps and hoes as prom dates, I can’t help but to be happy that they are graduating given the outrageous high school dropout rates of Blacks and other minorities. I guess that’s why I can’t be mad at the lady who gave a shout out to her son who graduated from Pre-K as the salutary on the radio a few days ago. At first it did sound kinda crazy to me. I mean shit, how hard to graduate from Pre-K. is it? But I guess the idea is to get behind them and push them at an early age so as to get results.

The prom or going to the prom is a tradition that will never die; it’s as American as Apple pie and baseball. The generations may change, the style of clothing may change some, the music may have changed, but the tradition of prom will forever live on. Speaking of tradition, take the kids of Montgomery County High School in Georgia for example. They like all high school seniors around the country are having a prom. Yes, they too will have their one night where all time will stand still, and they too will be cast into the spotlight. Well, for the kids at Montgomery County High and many other schools in the south, time has indeed stood still. You better believe it has for them. You see, in this being 2009 in the year of the lord, they still have segregated proms. Uh huh, there is a “Black Prom” and a “White Prom”. Uh huh, and guess which one is held first?

It would seem that traditions die hard. I mean here I am making fun of the brother who sits a top of my blog while he drinks the Kool Aid from the colored water fountain, and here today in this day and age White folks still feel the need to exclude Black kids from “their” prom. From what I’ve read in a recent New York Times release, it has been this way in this school in particular ever since they integrated in 1971. There was one actual school sponsored prom in 1995, but attendance was poor so the school has no plans of ever trying that stunt again. One can only wonder why attendance to that prom was poor especially since this years graduating class is made up of a total of 54 kids.

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.” – Source (The New York Times)
This is ridiculous, pure nonsense, and should not be accepted. If you click the source link above and read th4e article, you’ll see where a few Black kids who attended the “White Prom” to cheer on their friends were ushered away by chaperons. But yet, some people still say that tired line that racism is dead. Ok, sure they may not be burning crosses, or hanging Negroes from trees, but to label this a “tradition” – an acceptable one at that – is the most absurd thing I have heard in a very long time. How are these kids supposed to live in this new “post-racial” society when they are forced to live in a county still stuck in an era where this is accepted? I’m told that this is something that is commonplace in the south and this is not something exclusive to the state of Georgia. As a matter of fact, there is a documentary being released in another month called Prom Night in Mississippi which is centered around the struggle to have an integrated prom where actor Morgan Freeman even offered to pay for an integrated prom.

Check it out:

I’m telling you folks, it’s when I read stuff like this, that I am thankful that my parents never decided to live in places such as Montgomery County Georgia. If they did, I’ll have to wonder just how I would have turned out. But therein lies the problem; the parents. The school doesn’t sanction or hold a Prom because White parents deem it right to hold to the tradition (click here to listen to this). If the school stepped up to the plate, I personally think this could be changed. What’s the worst thing that could happen by having an integrated prom? What, are they afraid that their kids will be less White? I don’t know what you think about this and I’d sure like to hear your thoughts. Hopefully the day will come when this too shall come to pass.

MUST READ: Send Their Children to All-White Proms from the blog Stuff White People Do