Ala. governor apologizes for blackface skit 52 years ago

Ala. governor apologizes for blackface skit 52 years ago
Gov. Kay Ivey is apologizing after an interview indicating she wore blackface during a skit at Auburn University surfaced. (Source: Office of Gov. Kay Ivey)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WAFF) - Gov. Kay Ivey released a statement on Thursday afternoon apologizing for her role in a skit at a Baptist Student Union party in college where she apparently wore blackface.

Ivey said she doesn’t remember being part of the skit or the radio interview with Auburn’s student radio station where she talked about being part of the skit 52 years ago.

“Even after listening to the tape, I sincerely do not recall either the skit, which evidently occurred at a Baptist Student Union party, or the interview itself, both which occurred 52-years ago. Even though Ben is the one on tape remembering the skit – and I still don’t recall ever dressing up in overalls or in blackface – I will not deny what is the obvious," said Ivey.

Ivey’s statement continued, “As such, I fully acknowledge – with genuine remorse – my participation in a skit like that back when I was a senior in college.

“While some may attempt to excuse this as acceptable behavior for a college student during the mid-1960s, that is not who I am today, and it is not what my Administration represents all these years later.

“I offer my heartfelt apologies for the pain and embarrassment this causes, and I will do all I can – going forward – to help show the nation that the Alabama of today is a far cry from the Alabama of the 1960s. We have come a long way, for sure, but we still have a long way to go.”

HERE’S THE FULL RADIO INTERVIEW:

Alabama State Senate President Del Marsh released a statement about the Governor’s apology saying, “Governor Ivey has expressed her deepest apologies for this incident. I have worked with her in various capacities over the previous decade and I know that today she is not a person who would participate in something like that. I hope we as a state can put this behind us.”

The Alabama Republican Party also issued a statement: "The Alabama Republican Party appreciates and supports Governor Kay Ivey taking ownership of and responsibility for this 50 plus year old incident. While it occurred when she was a college student, Governor Ivey has stood up, admitted her mistake and offered a sincere apology though she has no recollection of the event. Her extraordinary record of public service shows her ability to work with all people regardless of race, religion or party affiliation. We stand with Governor Ivey uniting our state for a greater future.”

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