Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The times they are a-changing ...

Students of Turner County High School started what they hope will become a new tradition: Black and white students attended the prom together for the first time on Saturday.
In previous years, parents had organized private, segregated dances for students of the school in rural Ashburn, Georgia, 160 miles south of Atlanta.

But this year's upperclassmen -- 213 students total --voted to have just one official prom. Another tradition that ended this year -- having two separate homecoming queens. In the past, two queens were chosen -- one white, one black.

"Whites always come to this one and blacks always go to this one," said Lacey Adkinson, a 14-year-old freshman at the school of 455 students -- 55 percent black, 43 percent white "It's always been a tradition since my daddy was in school to have the segregated ones, and this year we're finally getting to try something new"

"It's been a dream of all of ours," Senior Class President James Hall said. "It was fitting already because we are breaking away from the past traditions here in Turner County School"

But needless to say there were those who still hanker for the good ol' days

"If they're not coming tonight it's because either they had to work and they couldn't get out of it or because their parents are still having an issue because they grew up in south Georgia," said Cheryl Nichols, 18, who attended the dance . "I've asked, 'Why can't you come?' and they're like, 'My mommy and daddy -- they don't agree with being with the colored people,' which I think is crazy," .
"There is a time and season for all things, and right now it's time for Turner County to make a change." said Valerie McKellar .

No comments: