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Photo of women in blackface, reportedly NDSU students, surfaces on Twitter

This photo of four women in blackface, said to be North Dakota State University students, surfaced on Twitter Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017. Special to Forum News Service

FARGO — A photo of four white women in blackface, said to be students at North Dakota State University, is circulating online after it surfaced on Twitter on Thursday, Nov. 9.

The photo's caption says "Gang s---" and was originally shared on Snapchat, then posted on Twitter by a black NDSU student, saying the four women in the photo also attend NDSU.

The black student said in a Twitter message that she was surprised when she first saw the photo, which a friend sent her. Yet she was also "not surprised because stuff like that goes viral on the internet all the time and it's just a matter of addressing the issue and educating people on why it's problematic to do such a thing."

The white student who shared the photo on Snapchat and who also appears in the photo responded publicly to the black student on Twitter on Thursday.

"It was not our intention for this photo to slander anyone in anyway. It was immature of us to write the caption we did. We were applying facemasks and completely disregarded the impact our words would make," the white student wrote.

When asked about the photo and how NDSU may respond, university spokeswoman Sadie Rudolph said in an email that the photo "hasn't been brought forward to the University."

Last September a Snapchat photo of University of North Dakota students in blackface, with the caption "Black lives matter," caught national attention. One day prior to this, another photo of two women and a man in UND apparel with the caption "Locked the black b**** out" surfaced online.

UND investigated the two incidents, but President Mark Kennedy said the photos were not in violation of the UND Code of Student Life and though appalling are protected under free speech.

Kim Hyatt

Kim Hyatt is a reporter with The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead and a 2014 graduate of the University of Minnesota Duluth. She started her newspaper career at the Owatonna People’s Press covering arts and education. In 2016, she received Minnesota Newspaper Association's Dave Pyle New Journalist Award and later that year she joined The Forum newsroom.

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