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.