The Virginia governor, in the midst of the Blackface scandal, agrees not to speak at the HBCU event: NPR



Virginia Governor Ralph Northam was scheduled to begin his "reconciliation tour" Thursday at a historically black university in Richmond. He canceled his appearance at the request of a student leader.

Steve Helber / AP


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Steve Helber / AP

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam was scheduled to begin his "reconciliation tour" Thursday at a historically black university in Richmond. He canceled his appearance at the request of a student leader.

Steve Helber / AP

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has decided not to launch his "reconciliation tour" as planned Thursday morning at Virginia Union University.

The change comes a few days after the historically black university student president urged the besieged democratic governor to come another time.

Wednesday night, Northam obliged, tweeting said: "I appreciate the initial invitation of the administration of VUU, but I will respect the wishes of the students." He stated that he had accepted "the invitation of the student government to a future dialogue and an honest conversation on issues of race, reconciliation and equity."

Northam has kept a low profile public since a racist photo with an individual in blackface and another in Ku Klux Klan, appearing on the page of his 1984 medical yearbook, were revealed earlier this month.

One day after initially indicating that he was in the picture, Northam then replied in the negative. But he admitted to darkening his face the same year to emulate pop star Michael Jackson in a dance competition.

Northam promised to dedicate the rest of his mandate to healing and racial reconciliation. He resisted calls for his resignation.

Attorney General Mark Herring also admitted to having worn Blackface in the 1980s at the university. Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, the man who would succeed Northam when he decided to resign, faces allegations of sexual assault from two women. He vehemently denies the allegations.

As Northam, Herring and Fairfax announced their intention to remain in office.

But that's the governor's scandal that has led the president of the association of student associations, Jamon Phenix, to send a letter to Northam's office this week asking him to postpone the spring.

Virginia Union administration officials invited Northam to attend Thursday's forum on faith, identity and social justice.

Part of the program was to pay tribute to Richmond 34, a group of Virginia Union University students arrested during a non-violent protest at a Thalhimers department store to protest against its policy of catering to whites. 1960.

Phenix's letter indicated that Northam's presence would throw a veil over the historical significance of the event.

In his statement, Northam said he admired "Richmond's measures to combat segregation," and added that he would honor them at Governor's House later in the week.

Northam said, "I am looking forward to welcoming the Richmond 34 to the Executive Mansion on Friday to pay tribute to their courage and courage." I appreciate the opportunities to listen, learn, and learn. to discuss how we can move Virginia forward. "


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