When Marcus Martin became the primary black graduate of the Eastern Virginia Medical School in 1976, his yearbook included a throwback image from his first day as a pupil, making a pointy impression in a swimsuit and striped tie. The caption learns, “Better get your smiling done now.” On his private web page was his favorite quote, “Woe is me,” referring to the marathon hours he spent learning, in addition to an inventory of his hobbies and his specialty: inside drugs and emergency drugs.
What he calls a “very harmless” yearbook stands in distinction to ones made in following years — most prominently in 1984, when Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam attended the Norfolk-primarily based public medical faculty and included an image on his private web page of somebody in blackface subsequent to a different particular person wearing a Ku Klux Klan gown. One other graduate, Michael Breiner, who’s white, included an image of himself within the 1985 yearbook dressed up as Diana Ross and sporting black make-up at a Halloween occasion.
However, the explanations rankle black alumni who graduated throughout Jap Virginia Medical Faculty’s early years and who disputed any notion that black college students, irrespective of the year, would have been OK with racially offensive pictures. Martin, now 70, stated if anybody tried to let blackface or KKK-associated photos through when he was at the college — or had he seen them in his yearbook after it was printed — he would have known as it out instantly.