Race rows involving Neeson and US governor remind me of my time in segregated Virginia in the 1950s

Ralph Northam, Democratic governor of the State of Virginia, who has become embroiled in controversy after it emerged that he wore a black face as a medical student in the 1980s
Ralph Northam, Democratic governor of the State of Virginia, who has become embroiled in controversy after it emerged that he wore a black face as a medical student in the 1980s

The row about Liam Neeson’s comments on race and the governor of Virginia Ralph Northam wearing a black face when he was a medical student reminded me of when I attended the University of Virginia Medical School in 1959.

I was shocked to arrive in Charlottesville and find there were different toilets for black people in the bus station.

News Letter editorial

News Letter editorial

There were around 70 students in my medical year, only two of whom were women (one of whom dropped out) and but no black people.

Indeed I do not recall any black people on campus.

I finished my medical degree at Queens University in Belfast.

Around 20% of the class was female, and there were a number of Asians, Caribbean and African students in the year.

The United States has changed radically since that time with the end of segregation, and more recently an African-American President.

Dr W. Sidney Lowry, Co Down