For the first time, the faces of students at the Turner County High School prom were both white and black.
Each year, in spite of integration, the school’s white students had raised money for their own unofficial prom and black students did the same to throw their own separate party, an annual ritual that divided the southern Georgia peanut-farming county anew each spring.
That all changed Saturday as horse-drawn carriages and stretch limousines carried young couples around the downtown streets to a single prom.
“I couldn’t be more proud of these young people,” said Ray Jordan, the county’s school superintendent. “The changes needed to come from the student body.”
At the start of the school year, Turner County’s four senior class officers had told principal Chad Stone they wanted an official prom and they wanted everyone invited.