WASHINGTON (FOX 5 DC) - George Washington University’s president denounced a series of racist photos found in old yearbooks Friday.
The photos, featured in the 1964, 1965 and 1968 yearbooks, show students wearing blackface and Ku Klux Klan hoods.
“It’s important for us to acknowledge our history even when we don’t like what we see,” LeBlanc said. “Racism has no place at GW.”
The GW Hatchet says the blackface photo, which was found in the 1964 Cherry Tree yearbook, shows two men in blackface and is featured on a page that highlights the “May Day Minstrel” talent show and pageant.
In the 1965 yearbook, a photo shows a student wearing a KKK hood that appears to be dancing at a Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity event, the GW Hatchet says.
Meanwhile, the second photo depicts a group of three students wearing KKK hoods at an “annual theater show” in 1968.
“We will work every single day to create a welcoming and inclusive community for all, and we will continue to learn from our past and try to be more inclusive now and in the future,” LeBlanc said.
The photos surfaced days after a scandal in Virginia in which a racist photo appeared in Governor Ralph Northam’s 1984 medical school yearbook picturing two men, with one wearing blackface and the other wearing a KKK hood.
Days later, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring admitted to wearing blackface when he was a student at the University of Virginia in 1980.
The Cherry Tree yearbook staff released a statement Friday denouncing the images as well.
Please see our statement regarding the photos published in the 1964, 1965, and 1968 yearbooks pic.twitter.com/ZcAvwx9lIZ— GW Cherry Tree (@GWCherryTree) February 8, 2019