WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Blackface.
It's the topic that has dominated headlines across the country in 2019. It all started with Virginia Governor Ralph Northam.
Yearbook pictures surfaced which appeared to show him wearing blackface in college.
Next, it was the University of North Carolina. Yearbook pictures surfaced showing students in blackface from 1979.
Now pictures from Wake Forest's past have surfaced.
"There are accounts of students dressing up in blackface, there are accounts of discriminatory and racist language that had been used," said José Villalba, the Chief Diversity Officer for Wake Forest University.
A quick look through Wake Forest's 1976 yearbook "The Howler," and you'll see students on campus, pictures from when Harry Chapin and Fleetwood Mac came to campus, and a fraternity Halloween Party complete with KKK garb, and someone in Blackface.
"The thing about our history is it was complicated back then, and it's complicated now," said Villalba.
Wake Forest University wanted to be proactive in dealing with issues they knew would surface after all this blackface controversy started.
"We, like most folks in the south, have been looking over our history. It was as good a time as ever to confront those realities," said Villalba.
In their pro-active story Wake Forests' leadership was clear.
Wake Forest University President, Nathan O. Hatch said "Wearing blackface is racist and offensive – then and now."
So how do you move forward?
"For us it's building on the programs we already have. It's making sure that once we have enrolled a student that we value who they are," said Villalba.
Although Wake Forest has addressed some of their issues, they know this story is far from over, because they say there will be many more images from other organizations to come.
"It's hard to believe that nothing would be in a yearbook. Particularly yearbooks that have always been student-run, student edited, student organized, right," asked Villalba.