Months after Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said she didn’t recall her sorority putting on a racist minstrel skit when she attended Auburn University in 1967, she apologized today for wearing blackface as part of another sketch when she was a student, the Montgomery Advertiser reported.
According to the publication, audio surfaced of an interview by her and her then-fiancee Ben LaRavia, in which LaRavia recalls a Baptist Student Union sketch in which Ivey wore blackface.
In the audio, which AL.com published, LaRavia said Ivey “had put some black paint all over her face” for the skit.
LaRavia also said they were acting out a skit called “cigar butts” that “did not require a lot of talent, as far as verbal talent, but did require a lot of physical acting, such as crawling around on the floor looking for cigar butts and things like this, which certainly got a big reaction out of the audience.”
In a statement to AL.com, Ivey said she and LaRavia gave the interview to the Auburn student radio station when she was vice president of the student government. After listening to the audio, Ivey said she didn’t remember the skit or the interview, which she emphasized “both which occurred 52-years ago,” but said she would “not deny what is obvious.”
“As such, I fully acknowledge—with genuine remorse—my participation in a skit like that back when I was a senior in college,” Ivey’s statement continued. “I offer my heartfelt apologies for the pain and embarrassment this causes, and I will do all I can—going forward—to help show the nation that the Alabama of today is a far cry from the Alabama of the 1960s. We have come a long way, for sure, but we still have a long way to go.”
Ivey’s apology comes months after the Associated Press unearthed a photo of members of her sorority in black masks, portraying “minstrels” in a skit as part of Greek rush in the 1967 Auburn University yearbook. At the time, Ivey claimed she was not in the photo, captioned “Alpha Gam Minstrels welcome rushees aboard their showboat,” and said she didn’t recall the skit.