As a college student at Millsaps, Mississippi Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves participated in a fraternity known for blackface, racial epithets and Confederate dances, a Jackson Free Press examination of Millsaps yearbooks and newspapers from his time there shows. Reeves is a 2019 Republican candidate for governor.
Kappa Alpha Order's pages in the 1993 through 1996 editions of Millsaps' yearbooks show him pictured among its members. Their pages also show unidentified members in racist costumes.
One photo shows three Kappa Alphas wearing blackface, with one smoking a cigar. Another shows members dressed in drag, with one wearing an afro wig. One from a luau party shows shirtless members in blackface, wearing afro wigs and evoking "savage" imagery.
In another photo, a member of Kappa Alpha has dark paint on his face with the Confederate 'X' crisscrossing between his eyes. It is not clear if the student in the black and white photo wore black face paint or dark blue.
In Reeves' freshman year, the fraternity's yearbook page included a 1966 photo in which new recruits received invitations from what appears to be a child dressed in a mammy uniform, like that of a slave era housemaid.
The yearbooks list a "Black and White Party" as a social event the fraternity engaged in, along with the Old South Ball. Yearbook photos show pictures from the ball during Reeves time, with the fraternity's all white men wearing garb akin to that of Confederate soldiers and their dates dressed as southern belles.
While Reeves was in Millsaps' chapter of Kappa Alpha, the fraternity had a reputation for racist incidents. In 1994, the school newspaper reported an altercation between members of Kappa Alpha and some black students in which members of Reeves' fraternity called them the n-word.
After the incident, the black students targeted with the epithets students were talking to WLBT