AUBURN, Ala (WKRG) — Governor Kay Ivey’s sorority sisters at Auburn appear in blackface in the university’s 1967 yearbook.
In the wake of a political scandal in Virginia surrounding elected officials appearing in blackface, Auburn University’s campus newspaper, The Plainsman, uncovered decades of pictures of students in blackface, mostly at fraternity or sorority parties, as recently as the mid-1980s.
The Plainsman looked at images from Auburn’s yearbook, the Glomerata, and found numerous images of students in blackface, including Alabama Governor Kay Ivey’s sorority when Ivey was a senior in 1967. The Alpha Gamma Delta’s yearbook page shows sorority sisters in blackface for a rush event. Ivey is not pictured in blackface but is shown in the chapter composite picture.
Through a spokesperson, Ivey denied knowing about the yearbook photo but did not condemn the sorority minstrel show, according to Chip Brownlee, Editor in Chief of The Plainsman.
“We gave them plenty of opportunity to condemn the photo,” said Brownlee. “We asked them if they had anything else to say about the page. We asked them what they thought, and their only response was that she was not in the photo and they didn’t have much else to say about it. They denied she was heavily involved with the sorority.”
Ivey is prominently mentioned on the sorority yearbook page since she was the student government association vice president that year. She had previously served as president of her sorority’s pledge class.
Brownlee said the paper did not set out to find images of Ivey and denies the exercise was designed “to get” the governor. He says the story has received both positive and negative feedback.
Brownlee says other offensive images, particularly the Confederate battle flag, were found in yearbook photos, as late as the 2000s.
News 5 reached out to Governor Ivey’s office for comment but have not heard back.