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Blackface photo not decisively linked to Virginia’s governor


Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (left) talks to reporters during a news conference in February in Richmond, as his wife, Pam, looks on. Associated Press/Photo by Steve Helber (file)

Blackface photo not decisively linked to Virginia’s governor

Eastern Virginia Medical School said Wednesday that the investigation into whether Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, appears in a 1984 yearbook photo of a man in blackface was inconclusive. The law firm hired by the school said it could not “conclusively determine” the identities of the man wearing blackface or the man next to him in a Ku Klux Klan hood. Investigators also could not determine how the photo was placed in the yearbook but found no evidence it was a mistake or prank.

The photo of Northam initially surfaced in early February on a conservative website not long after he made public comments that some interpreted as an endorsement of infanticide, angering pro-life advocates across the nation. Northam initially apologized for the photo but reversed course the next day, saying he was convinced he was not one of the men pictured. He admitted to having worn blackface decades ago to look like pop star Michael Jackson for a dance contest, and he defied calls to resign.


Rachel Lynn Aldrich Rachel is an assistant editor for WORLD Digital. She is a Patrick Henry College and World Journalism Institute graduate. Rachel resides with her husband in Wheaton, Ill.

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