We were so glad to see Wilcox County High School in Cordele, Georgia, come to their senses and have an integrated prom last week. Even though it was organized by students that were fed up with the state of affairs, surely the triumph feels the same.
The Class of 1963, may have taken notes from the affair because now a few students have come together to put together the prom they never had. Earnestine Thomas will be joining in the 50 year celebration of the civil rights movement in Birmingham, Alabama, May 17, by having a prom for her and others from several high schools.
The segregation marches had taken place and the “colored” schools suffered. A lot of their senior end-of-year activities were cut and prom was one of them. According to the Root, Thomas had planned to attend prom but the Children’s March to protest segregation happened and now, the retirees, are returning to the scene of the protests that made a present-day prom possible.
“The pomp and circumstance of high school graduation in 1963 was basically overlooked, alumni said, although completing high school was a big thing. “Churches had baccalaureate programs. Students would get their caps and gowns days in advance and wear them around the neighborhood. We didn’t get to do that,” Thomas said.”
It’s wonderful that so many of the 1963 graduating class are still around to celebrate and see the fruit of their labor. They are the same people they were back then and it shows. They will not be having the prom just for themselves, they will be paying it forward…again.
“Tickets are $19.63 in advance, $25.63 the week of the prom and $30.63 per person at the door,” Sims said. “We’re going use the money we have left over to award scholarships to two Birmingham graduating seniors in the Class of 2013.”
Bravo! to the students of Carver, Parker, Hayes, Western Olin and Ullman High Schools. We are watching and taking notes. Read more here.