Eastern Virginia Medical School to Investigate Racist Photos in Yearbooks

The Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk issued a statement following the revelation that Virginia Governor Ralph Northam had a photograph of a student in blackface and another student in a Ku Klux Klan costume on his 1984 yearbook page. The governor initially apologized but then later denied that he was one of the people in the picture. Sources stated that students gave yearbook editors photos they wanted on their year book page in sealed envelopes.

The university admitted that there were several other “unacceptable” photos that had been published in the yearbooks over the years. The medical school stopped publishing the yearbooks in 2014 after a photo appeared of students in Confederate Army uniforms.

In the statement from the medical school, officials wrote that it “is committed to discovering quickly how unacceptable photos such as these came to be published in the past. Further, we are committed to ensuring that our existing culture is one that would never tolerate such actions today.”

The medical school enrolls about 1,250 students. African Americans make up 10 percent of the student body, according to the latest data supplied to the U.S. Department of Education.

In a related story, Mark R. Herring, attorney general of the Commonwealth of Virginia, revealed that he had worn blackface while an undergraduate student at the University of Virginia. Herring who had called on Governor Northam to resign, made no mention of his intention to resign. He previously had announced that he will run for governor of Virginia in 2021.


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