Race Against Time

Students meet before heading into the first ever integrated prom at Turner County High School in Ashburn, Ga., April, 2007. (AP Photo/Walter Petruska)

Students meet before heading into the first ever integrated prom at Turner County High School in Ashburn, Ga., April, 2007. (AP Photo/Walter Petruska)

IDEAS producer Mary O'Connell visited Taylor County to try to understand relations between the races. Her documentary on the subject won a Gold Medal at the 2004 New York Festivals. It's called "Race Against Time".

In 2002, the students at Taylor County High School in Butler, Georgia, decided to hold an integrated prom. Blacks and whites would finally dance at their prom, together, for the first time ever.
Butler, in Taylor County, is in rural Georgia.  Where, as you drive along the highway, the peach orchards stretch for miles... as do the mobile homes.  Taylor County, population 9,000, is like other parts of rural Georgia where the pace of change moves at glacial rate.
In May 2002, when prom night arrived in Butler, the media arrived as well.
But all the excitement over the mixed race prom was short-lived.  In May 2003, the students decided to turn back the clock, and voted to return to the way things have always been.  


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