Blackface Found in U of A Yearbook

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) – It’s a controversy that’s been showing up on college campuses around the country, and now at the University of Arkansas.

“They think it’s funny or cute and it’s not,” said student Aahron Young.

Over one hundred years of yearbooks sit in the student media center at the U of A, filled with good memories but also a dark past. 

“I saw it and went ‘oh my God here we go’,” said Journalism Professor Gerald Jordan. 

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but pictures depicting blackface from a 1967 yearbook has left some speechless.

“It hurts and it hurts to this day,” Young added. 

Professor Jordan was a student at the time and a staff member for the yearbook.

“After a while your sense of humor just gets dull and you say that’s enough,” Jordan continued.

Jordan said he never felt threatened on campus, but the jokes these students thought were funny missed the punchline.

“I’m sure that some kids who were here then felt the same and just said ‘ this is it, I’m not taking it anymore. We don’t have to do this, it’s not funny and you should know that it’s not funny,” Jordan said. 

Although the times have changed, the feeling for current students has not. 

“You have to understand that you’re treating me as a joke or as your lesser when you and I are equals,’ Young said. 

“You’re saying I don’t get you at all and worse than that I don’t want to get you,” Jordan said. 

While nothing from the past can be changed now, many hope lessons can be learned and progress can be made. 

“It’s 2019, then it’s this year than this year and this year. We keep changing years but the issue hasn’t changed. It still pops up and we’re still offended by it,” Young said.

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