Racially segregated proms have been held in Montgomery County — where about two-thirds of the population is white — almost every year since its schools were integrated in 1971. Such proms are, by many accounts, longstanding traditions in towns across the rural South, though in recent years a number of communities have successfully pushed for change.
/snip/ Students of both races say that interracial friendships are common at Montgomery County High School. Black and white students also date one another, though often out of sight of judgmental parents. “Most of the students do want to have a prom together,” says Terra Fountain, a white 18-year-old who graduated from Montgomery County High School last year and is now living with her black boyfriend. “But it’s the white parents who say no. … They’re like, if you’re going with the black people, I’m not going to pay for it.”
Interesting corollary, from the same issue of the Times magazine:
According to the group Freedom to Marry, about 13 percent of Americans now live in a state that allows gay marriage or recognizes marriage licenses issued in other states, and that percentage is certain to rise. The gist of the disagreement now isn’t partisan or theological as much as it is generational. Unlike their parents, younger Americans and those now transitioning into middle age have had openly gay friends and colleagues all their lives, and they understand homosexuality to be a form of biological happenstance rather than of emotional disturbance. They’re less inclined to restrict the personal decisions of gay Americans, even if they don’t necessarily want the whole thing explained to their children as part of some politically correct grade-school curriculum. In a sense, the gay rights movement of an earlier era was so successful in changing social attitudes that the movement itself can now seem obsolete, in the same way that younger Americans who have grown up with the premise of environmentalism in their daily lives consider Greenpeace to be a kind of hippie anachronism.