Tag - race

My thoughts on Integrated Prom – White Prom, Black Prom

Mom PromAs I prepared for my Mom Prom just last weekend, little did I realize that there were high school students in South Georgia getting ready for their first prom….their first integrated prom that is.

For over 40 years, students at Wilcox County High School, in Rochelle, Ga have been attending a segregated prom. One prom for the white students, and one for the black students were hosted by parents of each race. Parents supported the segregation by planning, paying for and continuing this age-old, hometown tradition. I like to call it “white prom” and “black prom” let’s be honest folks, we need not beat around the bush.

Surprisingly, the school board has avoided the situation all together, basically washing their hands of being either right or wrong and sitting by while the parents took over.

Are the parents to blame? Does this make the school innocent? Who’s really in charge here?

Thankfully, and finally, students at Wilcox County High School, stepped up where their school board administrators, local businesses, and even parents have failed. Standing up out of the ignorance of segregation and fighting for their right to end what is more than an antiquated tradition and clearly racism. Four girls, 2 African American and 2 Caucasian created a Facebook page, asking for support and donations to host their own, independent prom.

Integrated Prom MommyBKnowsBest

“We were doing that so we could get the word out, so that some people would be able to donate and help us out with what we were doing,” said senior Mareshia Rucker.

The night of the prom,  nearly half of the school’s student body were in attendence at Wilcox County High School’s first integrated prom in 2013… unfortunately, they aren’t the only place in our country with this same mindset.

CNN.com reports: “Wilcox County is not the only place with a racially segregated prom, nor is it the only one that’s attracted widespread attention in recent years. In the 2009 documentary “Prom Night in Mississippi,” director Paul Saltzman followed the preparations for the first integrated prom in Charleston, Mississippi. Actor Morgan Freeman, a native of the area, offered in 1997 to cover the cost if the school board would hold an integrated prom, but the offer wasn’t accepted till 2008.”

While this prom was a great success, there were still students and parents in opposition of the prom, and as a result “white prom” was held again this year. We can hope that this nation learns from this story and takes steps in the direction towards racial equality. If nothing else, these intelligent, amazing teenagers have inspired others, made history, and stood up for what they believe in. Who says children can’t teach adults?!?

Check out Integrated Prom’s Facebook page to see some pretty amazing pictures that I wanted to use for this post but didn’t have permission to, and support what they are doing, whether it is with prayers and words of kindness or donations.

 

What are your thoughts on this issue?? Who do you think is to blame? But even better still, how can WE change this?

How do you Celebrate Black History Month?

Carter G. Woodson Black History Month

Today marks the beginning of Black History Month. For those you who you don’t know, here’s a little background info:

In 1926 historian, Carter G. Woodson and some other influentials created, “Negro History Week”, however the beginnings of what is now, “Black History Month,” began years before. His goal was to educate people about African-American history, their cultural backgrounds and reputable achievements. In 1976, February was proclaimed “Black History Month” and continues to be observed each calendar year.

Carter G. Woodson Black History Month

As you know DaddyB and I have two beautiful girls, who are almost 2 and 5. He is African American and a smidge Native American and I am Caucasian (Anglo-Saxon) and that makes our girls AMAZING!! Oh yeah, and they’re multi-racial. We are very blessed to be living in the world today, as opposed to several years ago, and while we’ve seen our share of racism displayed in many ways, we are thankful to those who paved the path for where we now stand.

Miss A RACE exhibitThis time of year last year I got to visit an amazing exhibit called, “RACE: Are We So Different,” and it was amazing, I learned so much and really enjoyed it, definitely wish I could have bottled all of that information to show the girls as they grow since some of the material was way over their heads. Miss A did get to play with some puppets from different races and check out some other aspects and Baby C was thrilled to sit in her stroller and people watch.

We may be naïve, but we see each person as they are and love our family just how we are too. Because I do not know as much as I would like about Black Culture both in the states and around the world, I have spend some hours online educating myself and trying to figure out how to best celebrate this month, Black History Month with my family. Since my girls are still quite young we want to make sure we engage in activities and practices that are age appropriate and family appropriate.

I have always said, and will always say that as a parent or caregiver, you have to do what you think is best for your own family, so while we may not choose to celebrate how another family celebrates that’s what makes us unique and our very own family of four. We don’t want race to be the only determining factor in their life, however we do want them to embrace and celebrate their background. I know many African-American people who do not celebrate and also some who are very diligent about it, would love help figuring out the best fits for our family to introduce our daughters to this side of their heritage.

We want our girls to have a balanced life and most of all to love and honor God, each other and others.

If you have any tips, blog posts or ideas on how you and your family celebrate, I would love to hear them. Thanks in advance for the support.

Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons: User dbking

Thank you Martin Luther King Jr.

B Family

Martin Luther King Jr.

Today is the day declared to honor the life and works of Martin Luther King Jr. I however, am thankful each day for Martin Luther King Jr. and others like him, who paved the rocky roads to integration and aided in the decrease of racism. Of course I am not naive enough to think that racism is gone, but there have been so many great people like Dr. King led and lead their lives for the cause of peace and it has not been in vain.

Why is integration such a big deal to me? If by some chance our society was still segregated by races, I would not be allowed to marry my husband, who is African American. I would not have two, beautiful, biracial daughters, and my life would not be the same.

So, I am thankful, and I celebrate. My family would not be together without the help of Martin Luther King Jr. And so instead of going shopping or rushing through another day off, we will celebrate our rights and the life of Martin Luther King Jr.

Are you celebrating this year? Perhaps you could take a moment today to realize what has truly been done for this society. Whether or not you think racism directly effects you, think of your friends, family, coworkers who have been and are impacted. And remember those who’ve endured hardship to fight for their rights as Americans.

B Family