One school, one class, one prom —why not?

Published 11:09 am Thursday, April 9, 2009

There was a time not too long ago when Demopolis High School had two proms, distinguished by race.

You don’t have to look too far back in our history to see a lot of things that were segregated, but times are changing, and attitudes and outlooks are changing with them.

Last Saturday, the school hosted a prom. A prom. One. It wasn’t the first integrated prom for the high school, and very likely won’t be the last.

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Held on the grounds of one of the grandest estates in town, Gaineswood, schoolmates were having a good time, dancing, talking and enjoying being out late with each other.

To call an integrated prom a miracle would be overstating things, but it is a sign of how far we have come from earlier times.

Attitudes are changing, but it’s not so much that earlier classes actually wanted separate proms and class reunions, but that it had always been done like that before and didn’t know how to do it otherwise.

Today’s students are not afraid to break with mindless tradition and are seeing how much easier and better things are when people work together.

Those attitudes and efforts will carry them far in the real world. Success almost always depends on working with others to achieve goals.

Our leaders of tomorrow will have to work with people of all nationalities and backgrounds, and work well with them. They will also live, shop, eat, have fun and simply exist among people of many different backgrounds.

To have an integrated prom doesn’t necessarily warrant a congratulations or fanfare, but it does generate a sense of civic pride and school spirit to know that we no longer have separate events for people in the same class.