Skip to content

Here’s what these Northeastern professors say is missing from the national debate over blackface

Margaret Burnham, University Distinguished Professor of Law and Director, Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project poses for portrait on Feb. 14, 2019. Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

In the ongoing national debate over the topic of blackface, spurred recently by the revelations about Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, Attorney General Mark Herring, and officers in the Baton Rouge Police Department, two diverging opinions appear to be emerging.

Some apologists argue that we should let “bygones be bygones,” that judging racial miscues of the past is a pointless and complicated exercise that further pushes us into our corners. Others, including Northeastern professor Moya Bailey, argue that the very act of darkening one’s skin, regardless of when the offense occurred, is indicative of an offender’s belief system, which shapes the way he or she makes impactful and far-reaching decisions.

After initially admitting to it, Northam is now denying that he appeared in blackface in a photo contained in his Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook from 1984.

Read the full story on News at Northeastern. 

More Stories

Behind the switch | Energy justice in Puerto Rico


Trust in COVID-19 vaccines aligns with political parties, new national study finds


Sheriff’s combative response to shocking deputy attack sparks new alarms, criticism

All Stories