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Georgia high school holds first ever integrated school prom

Wilcox High School in Rochelle, GA finally had its first integrated school prom since 1970.
Wilcox High School in Rochelle, GA finally had its first integrated school prom since 1970.
Photo by Bethany Clarke/Getty Images

Every spring high school students across the country get ready for prom, but Wilcox High School’s prom has garnered national attention due to integration.

It’s hard to believe, but ever since 1970 the high school has held two segregated proms- a spring dance for white students and a separate event for black students.

Instead of having an official prom, the school left it up to parents to organize the segregated events each year, but now those are a thing of the past.

Four friends—two black students and two white students—organized their own integrated prom and held it a week after the traditional whites-only event in 2013, and the event made headlines all over the nation.

Donations flooded in from across the country to cover the cost of the prom, and DJs offered their services for free.

The huge media spotlight on the little town of rural Rochelle, Ga. -- population 1,415 and high school population of about 400 students, made a lasting impact.

This year’s prom held on Saturday became an official school event, and race was not a factor.

Although many in the community still don’t approve of the integrated event, this greatly needed change was a long time coming.