By Steve Osunsami
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When yours truly was a senior in high school back in 1989, there were both black and white students at the senior prom.
We didn’t think anything of it – but it was central Illinois, and maybe that made a difference.
Fast forward to today, and here I am heading three hours down the highway from Atlanta to Wilcox County, Ga., where students there are holding their first integrated prom.
We are far from the city, and deep into the land of long, dry soybean fields with lonely tractors at their center. There are no stoplights. Every home I see looks weathered in that country way. And we’re about to pull into a long, gravel driveway to meet a few of the students who’ve decided it was time that black and white students share the same prom.
Wilcox County High is a small high school in the country. We tried to get the superintendant to agree to an interview and he declined. He was very nice about it, and seemed very supportive of the students putting on the integrated prom, but he was clearly negotiating politics.
(CNN) - The voting population of Latinos has exploded to the point where Latinos will not only be a decisive force in the presidential election, but will likely affect the outcome of political contests from school boards and statehouses to Congress, according a new report by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials.
“Latino voter enthusiasm is up,” said Arturo Vargas, executive director of NALEO. A recent poll by ImpreMedia-Latino Decisions confirms that analysis, counting three quarters of Latino voters as actively engaged in the election with 14% of all Latinos saying they are actively working on getting out the vote.
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The number of registered Latinos has increased by 26% in the last four years to 12.2 million or 8.7% of all voters. A new potential Latino voter turns 18 every 30 seconds. Already, one of four U.S. citizens under the age of 18 is Latino, including 48% of the youth population of Texas, Vargas said, but low voter registration among young people and new voter ID laws could dampen turnout.