Alabama governor doesn't plan to resign over blackface skit

Kay Ivey | Photo: MGN Online

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said she does not plan to resign in relation to a blackface skit earlier in her life.

Posted: Sep 3, 2019 2:52 PM

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said Tuesday that she should not have worn blackface in a college skit decades ago, but she does not plan to resign over something that happened so long in the past.

In her first public appearance since issuing a public apology last week, Ivey reiterated that she was wrong to appear in the skit over 50 years ago and that it does not reflect who she is today. The Republican governor said she has no plans to quit.

"Heavens no, I'm not going to resign. It's something that happened 52 years ago and I'm not that person. My administration stands on being inclusive and helping people," the Republican governor said.

Ivey last week apologized after a 1967 college radio interview surfaced of her then-fiance Ben LaRavia describing her wearing "black paint all over her face" in a skit called "Cigar Butts" at skit night at the Baptist Student Union. Her office released the recording after university officials discovered it while working on a project to preserve old university records.

Her admission of wearing blackface came after she had told The Associated Press in February that she had never done so. Ivey said Tuesday that she doesn't remember the skit.

"I didn't remember being at the Baptist Student Union in any kind of skit like that for sure. But I've apologized for it. I should not have done that. I know it's important to apologize to the people of Alabama," Ivey said Tuesday.

Ivey's public apology drew a mixed reaction.

The Alabama NAACP on Friday called on Ivey to resign. The group noted some of her actions as governor, including signing into law legislation that protected Confederate monuments and any other historic statues from being torn down.

Alabama Senate Minority Leader Bobby Singleton, who is African American, said he appreciated Ivey "owning" the incident and apologizing for it.

Ivey said Tuesday that she has mostly received positive reactions.

Ivey is the latest politician to face scrutiny over wearing blackface decades ago. A racist photo in the medical school yearbook of Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam led to calls for his resignation. Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring also acknowledged wearing blackface in college.

The skit, which appeared to have taken place in 1967, came three years after the first African American student entered Auburn and six years after segregationist Gov. George Wallace's infamous stand in the schoolhouse door to try to block the entry of two African American students at the University of Alabama.

In the radio interview, LaRavia brought up the skit when asked by the interviewer to share their "most hilarious moments" from the skit night. LaRavia said if they ever forget their college days, "all we'd need to do is come back to the Auburn BSU and look at some of those pictures they took that night and I understand we would be quite humbled at this."

"That's true," Ivey replied with a laugh.

Ivey's 1967 senior year yearbook, The Glomerata, shows five of her sorority sisters wearing blackface portraying "minstrels" in a rush skit. Its caption reads, "Alpha Gam Minstrels welcome rushees aboard their showboat." The photo is on the same page as a description of the sorority and the accomplishments of its members. The page notes that Ivey was vice president of the student body.

Ivey told The Associated Press in February she didn't remember the skit or participate in it. When asked if she had done anything that could be perceived as racially insensitive, Ivey replied, "I sure hope not."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 27900

Reported Deaths: 1082
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds215239
DeSoto137316
Madison122234
Jones106949
Neshoba96069
Lauderdale88278
Rankin84112
Forrest81442
Scott75015
Harrison7448
Copiah56615
Leake54819
Jackson53316
Holmes52741
Wayne52112
Washington4969
Lee49316
Oktibbeha48624
Yazoo4736
Leflore47249
Lowndes45311
Warren44317
Lincoln43534
Lamar4197
Grenada3805
Monroe36729
Pike36712
Attala35223
Lafayette3524
Newton3289
Sunflower3066
Covington3025
Bolivar27713
Panola2706
Adams26718
Chickasaw25918
Tate2577
Jasper2506
Marion24811
Pontotoc2476
Noxubee2458
Pearl River24432
Winston2435
Clay24210
Claiborne23610
Simpson2303
Smith20611
Clarke20124
Marshall2013
Coahoma1866
Kemper17614
Union1759
Walthall1724
Yalobusha1617
Carroll16011
Lawrence1591
Itawamba1278
Calhoun1244
Humphreys1239
Tippah12311
Webster12310
Montgomery1222
Hancock12013
Jefferson Davis1064
Tallahatchie1043
Prentiss983
Greene927
Jefferson923
Wilkinson919
Tunica893
Amite822
George743
Choctaw714
Quitman680
Tishomingo681
Perry614
Alcorn561
Stone521
Franklin382
Benton270
Sharkey240
Issaquena71
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 38442

Reported Deaths: 947
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson4387142
Montgomery383999
Mobile3697134
Tuscaloosa204938
Marshall153710
Lee118937
Shelby108223
Madison10577
Morgan9813
Walker86723
Franklin85213
Dallas8198
Elmore81314
Baldwin6869
Etowah62513
Butler60427
DeKalb6025
Chambers58127
Tallapoosa56369
Autauga54511
Unassigned52025
Russell4840
Lowndes45820
Lauderdale4446
Houston4344
Limestone4090
Cullman4003
Pike3995
Colbert3685
Bullock3629
Coffee3532
Barbour3231
Covington3087
St. Clair3042
Hale29321
Marengo28611
Wilcox2808
Sumter27612
Calhoun2705
Talladega2677
Clarke2665
Escambia2636
Dale2440
Jackson2382
Winston2333
Blount2141
Chilton2112
Pickens2116
Marion20312
Monroe1972
Choctaw19212
Conecuh1804
Bibb1711
Macon1708
Randolph1709
Greene1667
Perry1451
Henry1303
Crenshaw1233
Lawrence1010
Washington1007
Cherokee747
Lamar711
Fayette671
Geneva670
Clay582
Coosa551
Cleburne291
Out of AL00
Tupelo
Scattered Clouds
81° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 74°
Feels Like: 85°
Columbus
Overcast
73° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 73°
Feels Like: 73°
Oxford
Scattered Clouds
84° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 73°
Feels Like: 92°
Starkville
Scattered Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 72°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather