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Controversy of blackface hits East Carolina University

A blackface photo in the 1962 Buccaneer yearbook (ECU yearbook photo)

The controversy of blackface, which has made headlines in many different situations recently, has impacted East Carolina University, too.

Photos from old school yearbooks surfaced, bringing the subject front and center. The two photos were in the Buccaneer, ECU's yearbook, in 1962 and 1980. Since those photos came out, school chancellor Cecil Staton issued a statement.

”Were we to review our history, we would likely find many things for which we would, today, be ashamed. Incidents from 30-year-old yearbooks do not represent who we are today.”

“ECU’s commitment to cultivating a welcoming environment continues to be a high priority.”

In 2016, ECU renamed Aycock Hall of Legacy Hall after students voiced concerns about former Gov. Charles Aycock's ties to white supremacy. Also in 2016, ECU started Cupola Conversations, a town hall-type meeting where students, faculty and other officials talked about topics impacting students.

The university also offers the N.C. Civility Summit, which promotes understanding and positive change on campus. It will be held on Tuesday.

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