Rachel Dolezal is back in the forefront of the news cycle after her appearance on the Today show. The former NAACP Spokane, Washington chapter president said even though she was born to white parents, she is not about to stop being an activist for black causes.
“I definitely feel like in America… there still is a line drawn in the sand, there still are sides. Politically, here is a black side and a white side,” Rachel Dolezal said. “And I stand unapologetically on the black side.”
Her appearance on the Today show was, at least in part, to promote her new book, Now In Full Color: Finding My Place in a Black and White World.
The former leader of the black rights group also refuses to back down from her previous claims that she is indeed, a black woman — regardless of the revelations about her true racial heritage. Rachel Dolezal was the NAACP chapter president until two years ago when her parents, Ruthanne and Larry Dolezal, went on national television and announced to the world that their daughter is white, the Daily Mail notes. The outing of their daughter came after she claimed to have been the victim of a racial hate crime.
“I don’t identify as African-American, I identify as black. So I’m part of the pan-African diaspora,” Dolezal added.
— The Root (@TheRoot) March 24, 2017
Dolezal was asked during the interview if she could have advocated for black causes without actually claiming to belong to a different race. The disgraced NAACP chapter president launched into a windy answer detailing how her “own sense of self” and values guide her to rally behind a “greater cause.” The cause she has vowed to battle against is what she deems the myth of white supremacy.
“I really prefer to just be exactly who I am, and black is really the closest race and cultural category, descriptive term that represents the essential essence of who I am,” Rachel Dolezal added.
Social justice, racial justice, and education are the topics Dolezal has committed herself to fighting to combat. Dolezal claims all of the nationwide debate and backlash over her claims of being black has made it difficult to find a job — so she changed her name.
Regardless of any name change, Dolezal now has one of the most recognizable faces in the entire country. It will likely prove extremely difficult for her not to be quickly identified by any potential employer. Her legal name change was not revealed during the live television interview. According to the Daily Mail report, Dolezal’s new name is Nkechi Amare Diallo. The name reportedly means “gift of God” in a Western African language.
Rachel does not plan on changing her line of work — which could very likely still make it difficult to find sustainable employment. During the same interview, Dolezal said she wants to continue working as an activist for black causes. Her ultimate goal is to bring more awareness about race and identity to the world.
— BBC Newsnight (@BBCNewsnight) March 27, 2017
Dolezal grew up in Troy, Montana. From 1993 to 1995, her parents adopted four black children, the Urban Daily reports. The black man Rachel once claimed to be her biological father is Albert Wilkerson. He reportedly volunteered with Dolezal at a Human Rights Education Institute in Idaho. In previous statements to the press, the former NAACP chapter president reportedly said her father hunted for meat with a bow and arrow amid claims she had lived in both South Africa and Colorado — all of which has now been debunked.
[Featured Image by AP Photo/Nicholas K. Geranios]