Ursuline Academy has issued an official apology after several former students called the North Dallas private school out on social media for sweeping racial yearbook images “under the rug.”
The photos, from the all-girls Catholic prep school’s 1979 yearbook, show two white students wearing dark makeup with text that reads, “The slave trade became legal for one last time Wednesday, March 14, as the senior class members sold themselves along with thirteen brave and courageous teachers.”
“Tension and excitement filled the gym as various underclassmen fought for the more desirable slaves,” the text continued. “Happy homemakers and Southern belles were among the more popular slaves. The slaves were at their masters [sic] command for one entire day. The proceeds acquired benefited Senior Unity Day.”
Several former students posted the images on their Facebook page and expressed concern that the school was “sweeping their history under the rug.”
The school described the makeup as “blueface” in its statement.
On Friday, Ursuline president Gretchen Kane said in a statement, “there is no question that what we see as unacceptable today should have been unacceptable 40 years ago.
“Unquestionably we regret this awful incident in our school’s history, and we sincerely apologize for the distress it has caused our students, our alumnae, and others in our Ursuline community.”