Thursday, April 4, 2013

MLK and Dancing the Night Away

45 years ago today the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated.  Many people believe that the fact that President Obama could be elected twice proves that we live in a post-racial world, but all we need to do is look around a little to see that's not the case.

In an item strangely appropriate for this day of remembrance comes the story of the first integrated prom at a high school in Georgia.  Now you might think this is a historic recounting of people living into King's dream from a long time ago, but you would be mistaken. Instead this year, 2013, students at Wilcox County High School in Rochelle, Georgia, will hold their first ever interracial prom. Ever since integration took place there have been two proms every year, one for whites and one for blacks. Every year there have been two different proms based on what color your skin was.

If you want to see a fantastic documentary on a similar event in Mississippi, I highly recommend Prom In Mississippi in which Morgan Freeman pays for the first integrated prom for the school at the town he grew up in, although it took them 11 years to take him up on the offer.

It is truly amazing that things like this still take place, but they do and they are all too common.  But let us also not forget that King also had great concern for the poor and those doing jobs for low wages, a problem which has also not gone away.

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