As controversy unfolds around the "fake prom" that Mississippi lesbian Constance McMillen was duped into attending, AlterNet contributor Angela C. Stuesse considers the parallels between the role parents allegedly played in the deception and the behavior of their 1960s counterparts who took matters into their own hands when the state's schools were racially desegregated. A short excerpt:
"The 'solution' of organizing a parent-organized alternative to publicly supported education or social events is firmly rooted in southern history, and has continued into the present. In Mississippi and other parts of the South, as school districts lost their court battles against federally mandated racial desegregation in the late 1960s and early 1970s, private schools were founded in a matter of weeks. White parents moved their children into the schools they had organized, and public schools became de facto black schools. This pattern persists in many southern locales today....
"Since school districts couldn’t legally sponsor segregated proms, parents stepped in to privately fund and plan them. Having been raised in the Midwest, I was shocked to learn when I moved to Mississippi that my neighbor (who, like me, graduated from high school in 1994) had attended a racially segregated prom. Both the black and the white proms, each with its own king and queen, were documented in her high school yearbook...."
Read the full story at AlterNet:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Surviving a plane crash
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- Ted Cruz and the most cynical, despicable political stunt of the year
- When men who abstain from pre-marital sex get married
- The greatest sniper duel in history is a myth
- Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi: The man who would be caliph
- Everything you need to master Chinese cooking
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
Subscribe to the Week