For the very first time on Saturday, in the small town Rochelle, Ga., students at Wilcox County High School had their first student-run integrated prom, an endeavor in which organizers said they were looking “to right the wrongs of the past.”
That past involved students’ parents, who would host and control the prom festivities of the high school rather than the school board, which has avoided endorsing the special occasion for decades, according to ABC News.
The parents held separate proms -- one for white students and one for black students.
In an effort to push back, four Wilcox County High School senior girls -- two black and two white -- campaigned for an integrated prom, launching a Facebook page asking for support and donations to fund their independent prom that would be welcoming of all.
“We live in rural south Georgia, where not too many things change,” the Integrated Prom Facebook page states. “Well, as a group of adamant high school seniors, we want to make a difference in our community. For the first time in the history of our county, we plan to have an integrated prom.”
The page, with its banner of “Love has no color,” has garnered more than 27,000 "likes" as of Monday.
On Saturday, the girls expressed their delight and nerves, posting, “Today Is The Day!!!!!! So Beyond Excited :-) *Butterflies In Our Stomachs And Screaming With Excitement*."
More than 4,000 people "liked" the status, and nearly half of the school’s student body showed up for the historical event.
Mareshia Rucker, one of the student organizers behind the integrated prom, told the local ABC News station, “Hopefully, when everything is said and done, people in our county will really realize that there is no sense in the way things are right now.”
School officials made clear on the school's website that it hasn’t organized the separate proms, calling them “private parties” that it “has no influence” over.
Despite Saturday’s special occasion, there was a white-only prom that was held as well, organized by white parents, according to ABC News.
But almost 50 years after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which banned racial discrimination in schools and other public places, the resounding effects and impact was certainly felt that night.
Alexis Miller, a white student who attended the prom with her black boyfriend, told the local NBC station, “I feel like we are living Martin Luther King’s dream.”
Check out the student's Facebook page by clicking here.
Watch the news story below: