National Institute on Aging

Two Students at Lee University Attend Party in Blackface

lee-universityTwo women students at Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee, attended a rap-themed dessert party wearing blackface and baggy white T-shirts. Photographs of the students in blackface were posted online, creating a controversy at the university. Blacks students make up about 6 percent of the 4,500-member undergraduate student body at Lee University.

The students apologized for their behavior, saying they did not consider that their actions might be seen as offensive to members of the campus community.

A university spokesperson issued a statement which read: “Recently two of our students behaved in a way that was not only profoundly regrettable, but also deeply hurtful to many people, including fellow classmates. Although we believe that their actions arose out of ignorance regarding the historical implications of blackface and not a willful intent to wound others, they nonetheless had that effect. We are confident that some difficult lessons have been learned as a result of these impulsive actions.”


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