Racist photo is reminder of turbulent history

This image shows Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s page in his 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook. The page shows a picture, at right, of a person in blackface and another wearing a Ku Klux Klan hood next to different pictures of the governor. It's unclear who the people in the picture are, but the rest of the page is filled with pictures of Northam and lists his undergraduate alma mater and other information about him. (Eastern Virginia Medical School via AP)
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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Virginia has become more diverse and socially liberal in recent years. But the state continues to struggle with mindsets shaped by its turbulent racial history.

When a racist photo was discovered last week on Gov. Ralph Northam's 1984 medical school yearbook page, it was but the latest reminder of the state's hateful past.

Statues of Confederate leaders remain the defining feature of Richmond's Monument Avenue and the state legislature stops every year to honor Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and "Stonewall" Jackson.

The state has the largest number of Confederate monuments, statues and symbols in the nation.

In 2017, Charlottesville became a symbol of racial turmoil after a woman was killed when white nationalists from around the country rallied and rioted to protest the removal of a statue of Lee.

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