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Virginia’s first lady apologizes for handing cotton to black kids

Virginia’s first lady apologizes for handing cotton to black kids
Pam Northam, the wife of the governor of Virginia, was forced to apologize after she gave cotton to black students during a recent governor’s mansion tour so that they could capture how it felt to be a slave.

A Virginia state employee complained that her daughter, an eighth-grader, and another black child received raw cotton when Northam was showing them the residence’s former kitchen last week.

“I regret that I have upset anyone,” the first lady said in her apology. “I am still committed to chronicling the important history of the Historic Kitchen, and will continue to engage historians and experts on the best way to do so in the future.”

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She stressed that in her opinion, “it does a disservice to Virginians to omit the stories of the enslaved people who lived and worked there – that’s why I have been engaged in an effort to thoughtfully and honestly share this important story since I arrived in Richmond.”

The governor’s office insisted that the black students weren’t singled out by Northam as she gave cotton to a larger group of students of different origins. The statement was backed by a parent of another student present at the tour.

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