UVA deals with past racist yearbooks

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The Northam yearbook effect is being felt at all Virginia colleges, and the University of Virginia is no exception.

The Alderman Library has been busy since the revelation of Governor Ralph Northam's blackface image in a 1984 yearbook from his medical school.

The library has copies of a UVA yearbook called Corks and Curls.

The title can be taken to refer to cork being used for blackface and curls as wigs used to depict the hair of African-Americans in minstrel shows.

Pictures of whites in blackface appear in the publication up until 1972.

But most are from the late 19th century, showing racist depictions of black people that are tied to the Lost Cause movement of the Civil War.

Kirt Von Daacke, a professor of history at UVA, says it was another way to keep black people down.

"It was a UVA alum who coined the phrase the Lost Cause, so there was the sanitizing and meaning of the Civil War, and so it really shouldn't be surprising that it happens here at UVA," he said.

Von Daacke, who is also a co-chair of the UVA Commission on Slavery, also says there are numerous other examples of how blackface was used at the university in the late 19th century, including a traveling blackface glee club and the moot court at the UVA Law School.



 
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