Hollins University President Prohibits Digital Access to Four Yearbooks Containing Racist Imagery

The president of Hollins Universitya liberal arts educational institution for women in Roanoke, Virginia, has restricted online access to four yearbooks that include photos of students and faculty in blackface and other racist imagery.

According to President Pareena Lawrence in a letter to the campus community, she removed the yearbooks from the online archive “in an effort to limit the damage and pain” that the racist pictures might cause. She also stated that she plans to restore access to the yearbooks once university officials develop “educational information regarding the history and practice of blackface to help all of us understand why it is a racist and a prejudicial practice.”

President Lawrence’s decision has been met with some backlash from people who don’t know why she chose the four specific yearbooks when there may be 10 or more other issues of the yearbook that also contain racist photos. There are still hard copies of the removed yearbooks in the university’s library.

“In an effort to understand what might have occurred in the past, Hollins University has undertaken its own internal research,” President Lawrence wrote. “We must acknowledge how distressing such acts as ‘blackface’ or racial misappropriations can be, and we must do the reparative work to continue to heal our community.”

Filed Under: Women's Colleges


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