Looking at the photo from Northam's yearbook page note the quote-"There are more old drunks than old doctors in this world so I think I'll have another beer." In the photo of Northam in a cowboy hat on that page he is holding a beer.
The person in blackface and the person in the KKK outfit are both holding beers. It is just possible that that photo was included as an illustration for the quote and had nothing to do with Northam at all. Just an unfortunate attempt at humor by the yearbook staff.
I am struck by the fact that so far no one who knew Northam in HS, college, Med school, the military or since has come forward to accuse Northam and any racist activities. Quite the contrary.
The photo below on the left shows the officers of the Hi-Y club in the 1977 Onancock High School yearbook. Northam, who was the club president, is standing in the back row. Clearly Northam was acquainted with and probably friends with black people from an early age. Probably more so than I. There are no black persons in photos I appear in in my HS yearbook. (Very few black residents in the town in which I grew up.)
I worry that if we on the left demand our politicians to have lived completely blemish free lives there will be no one for us to vote for.