What the Eyes Can't See book cover

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam's "blackface scandal" could have destroyed any politician. The photo of Governor Northam purportedly in blackface created a firestorm not only locally but also in every political sphere. What the Eyes Can't See details why Northam's career did not end with the scandal, and how it made him a better governor—and a better citizen and doctor.

Encouraged and prodded by Black legislators and citizens, Northam came to a deeper understanding of the racism and pain the photograph symbolized. To Northam's credit, he listened, and more importantly learned the lessons of endemic, systemic racism and applied those lessons to his legislative agenda. Edds provides a revealing examination of race in the nation, how racism might be addressed and reckoned with, and how we all may find a measure of redemption in listening to one another.

Ebook edition also available

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What's New

Book Release: November 8, 2022

Associated Press Review:

“[The] book . . . offers new details about the 2019 scandal and the former governor's remarkable political survival."  Read more

Upcoming Events:

  • November 17 - Book Release Reception and Talk  Read more

  • December 1 - Slover Library Book Talk and Reception Read more

"Margaret Edds delivers a deeply reported, inside look at how Governor Ralph Northam weathered a potentially crippling scandal and ultimately helped establish Virginia as a vanguard of social and racial equity policy. She contextualizes it with a compelling examination of Virginia's racial history and the impact on its politics. Having extensively covered Northam’s journey, I consider it a rare story of resolve, resilience and redemption. Edds brilliantly captures it all."

 

Geoff Bennett

Chief Washington Correspondent

PBS News Hour

What Critics Are Saying