The first lady of Virginia Pam Northam reportedly handed cotton to young Black children during a tour of the governor's mansion.
A state employee claims that Mrs. Northam allegedly asked them to imagine being slaves in the fields.
The allegations come from Leah Dozier Walker, a senate page, who is the director of the Office of Equity and Community Engagement at the Virginia Department of Education.
According to CNN, Walker, the first lady spoke in the mansion's kitchen cottage, where slaves used to work -- and gave black students, including Walker's eighth-grade daughter, pieces of cotton.
"During the tour of the Mansion Cottage, (Walker's daughter) and two of her (fellow) pages were asked to hold cotton that the First Lady retrieved from a bowl on a nearby table. Mrs. Northam then asked these three pages (the only African-American pages in the program) if they could imagine what it must have been like to pick cotton all day," Walker wrote in the letter.
The news comes just weeks after her husband, Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam, was at the center of controversy after a photo on his medical school yearbook page of a man in blackface and another in a Ku Klux Klan outfit.
Northam initially to responsibility for the photo and announced that he would resign, before rescinding the resignation and refusing to step down.
But it appears that the Northams have not learned their lesson.
"The Governor and Mrs. Northam have asked the residents of the Commonwealth to forgive them for their racially insensitive past actions," Walker's letter continued.
"But the actions of Mrs. Northam, just last week, do not lead me to believe that this Governor's office has taken seriously the harm and hurt they have caused African-Americans in Virginia or that they are deserving of our forgiveness."
"The comments and just the way you carried yourself during this time was beyond inappropriate, especially considering recent events with the Governor. From the time we walked into the mansion to the time in the cottage house, I did not receive a welcoming vibe. It was very testing to know I had to go somewhere, and I had no choice as to if I went, I had to be respectful, and be on my best behaviour (sic), even when the people in positions of power I was around were not doing the same."
Mrs. Northam said in a statement:
"I have been engaged in an effort to thoughtfully and honestly share this important story since I arrived in Richmond. I have provided the same educational tour to Executive Mansion visitors over the last few months and used a variety of artifacts and agricultural crops with the intention of illustrating a painful period of Virginia history. I regret that I have upset anyone.
"I am still committed to chronicling the important history of the Historic Kitchen, and will continue to engage historians and experts on the best way to do so in the future."