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In 1963, Birmingham, Alabama was entrenched in the civil rights movement. Students were on the front lines of police brutality and busy holding marches and sit-ins. While history was being made, the students of black high schools like A.H. Parker High, Western Olin High, Hayes High School and Carver High School, were punished with the cancellation of school activities, including senior prom. Some students were even eliminated from graduation activities after participating in civil rights marches.

Last December, Earnestine Thomas joined with other city alumni (Frances Faulks, Patricia Hendrix, Brenda Hong, Shirley Holmes-Sims) from the black Birmingham high schools to form a prom committee. On May 17, 2013 at the Birmingham Boutwell Auditorium, the black students of Birmingham will finally have their prom. They’re calling it the “Greater Birmingham 1963 Historical Prom.” The event is recognized as a historic event by the city.

The price for prom tickets is $19.63. Proceeds will go towards scholarships for the senior class students of Birmingham city schools. To donate toward this special for the 1963 students of Birmingham, Alabama, contact Brenda Hong at 205-919-7292 or Shirley Holmes Sims at 205-901-9311.

(Photo: Courtesy of Cyrondys Jackson Springer)