Racially Segregated Proms Still a Tradition?

promI was shocked reading this article in the New York Times, which reports that racially segregated proms are still a tradition in some rural towns in the South.

For example, students of Montgomery County High School in Georgia attend either (what they refer to as)  "the black-folks prom" or "the white-folks prom."


How is this permitted?

Because the proms are private—sponsored and organized NOT by the schools but outside of school by student committees with the help of parents—segregation is allowed. Even though interracial friendships and relationships are common at the school, according to the article:

"All students are welcome at the black prom, though generally few if any white students show up. The white prom, students say, remains governed by a largely unspoken set of rules about who may come."

The article reports that students find segregated proms to be "awkward" and even hurtful. Still, when asked why this situation continues year after year, both students and parents fall back on the same reasoning: It's tradition.

Is this prejudice masquerading as tradition? What do you think?

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