Integrated Prom

By: AP edited by Marguerite Jordan Email
By: AP edited by Marguerite Jordan Email

April 23
4:24pm

ASHBURN, Ga. (AP) _ For decades, ''prom night'' in Ashburn, Georgia has meant two separate unofficial events -- one for blacks, one for whites. Each group would raise money for its own private party.

Until last night. That's when dozens of seniors at Turner County High School -- blacks and whites -- gathered in a city auditorium that was transformed for one night into a tropical scene.

Parents and teachers looked on, as the students arrived by horse-drawn carriage and by stretch limousine. Restaurants were packed with classmates treating their dates to fancy meals.

The county's school superintendent says he ''couldn't be more
proud.'' He says the change needed to come from the students
themselves.

And it did. At the start of the school year, the school's four
senior class officers made it clear that they wanted an official
prom, with everyone invited.

The money spent on the prom included five-thousand dollars that
came in from supporters around the country.

The black student who's president of the senior class calls it
''a fresh start.''

But blacks still easily outnumbered whites at the dance, and
many whites still attended their own private party a week before.


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