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U.Md. student finds blackface photos in old yearbooks

After seeing photos in other yearbooks that shock the conscience today, University of Maryland student Camille Alexander started looking back through old yearbooks in College Park. And she said it didn’t take long to find racist pictures in them.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — After seeing photos in other yearbooks that shock the conscience today, University of Maryland student Camille Alexander started looking back through old yearbooks in College Park. And she said it didn’t take long to find racist pictures in them.

Alexander said she was motivated by a particularly disturbing picture discovered in old yearbooks from the University of North Carolina. She looked through yearbooks from the University of Maryland from 1960 and 1970 and found similarly racist pictures taken by students. (She later said the “5 minutes” was an exaggeration.)

Her discovery led university President Wallace Loh to put out a statement on Twitter saying the images “are profoundly hurtful and distressing. Traditions like this reflect a history of racial prejudice and do not convey what we seek to embody today.”

A statement put out by the university’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion added that the images can be “shocking for some and traumatizing for others,” and hoped the discovery can be a “moment to learn and discuss this challenging part of our history.”


The University of Maryland has been no stranger to incidents of racism and bias even in recent years, and some students have been critical of the way Loh and the school administration has responded.

The university’s yearbooks can be browsed online.

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