Moody Apologizes Over Historical Blackface Photos

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The discovery of “deeply offensive” snapshots from 1974 and 1984 spurs a deeper review of racism at the 134-year-old school.

Decades-old photos depicting white students in blackface in Moody Bible Institute yearbooks have led the leaders to issue an apology and pledge to carefully examine racism in its history and current ministry.

“Regardless of when these photos were taken, or what the intent of the students was at that time, these pictures are shocking and deeply offensive. As senior leadership of Moody Bible Institute, we come together in this letter to deeply apologize for these photos and the underlying ignorance and the racist foundation blackface represents,” wrote Moody president Mark Jobe, addressing the 1974 and 1984 yearbook photos.

“This behavior absolutely does not reflect how we envision our Moody community, which is grounded in God’s Word and the gospel of Jesus Christ,” the statement said. “It also undermines the advancements we have made together in the area of diversity.”

Jobe’s apology comes two weeks after he issued a call for prayer in response to the killing of George Floyd and the racial unrest in Chicago and around the country, and 10 days after Moody leaders shared personal reflections on race in a video for the faculty and staff.

“I am most discouraged, personally, not so much by the violence I see outside, even though I am very discouraged about that. I am most discouraged by once again the lack of the evangelical church, which I am a proud member of, not necessarily taking the lead in solving some of these very, very deep problems,” provost Dwight Perry said in the video.

Perry, the author of Breaking Down Barriers: A Black Evangelical Explains the Black Church, is working with Jobe to review Moody history to ensure the school is “reflecting God’s values” …

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