Rachel Dolezal Presents Black Hair History, Describes Her Own As ‘Type Four Or Five’ [Video]

Watch the EMU lecture of Rachel Dolezal about the significance of black hair.

Rachel Dolezal, the president of the NAACP chapter in Spokane, and a part-time professor in an Africana Studies program, recently lectured on the history of hair and its significance in the African-American experience at Eastern Washington University, according to this video on YouTube. Posted February 17, 2015, the video shows Rachel Dolezal giving a highly detailed lecture to EWU students focusing on everything from “hair history and privilege” to once-banned hairstyles among African-Americans.

The Inquisitr reported on the story sweeping the globe about Rachel Dolezal, a leader within the Spokane community representing and advocating for the African-American community, who, as it turns out, was born Caucasian. Rachel’s parents, as explained in the earlier article, are both white and claim that the activist’s ancestry is Swedish, German, and Czech. Dolezal claimed her ancestry is “white, black, and Native American” on her job application, according to the New York Times.

Dolezal begins her presentation at EWU with the highly acclaimed, often-quoted poem by Willi Coleman entitled “Among the Things That Use to Be.”

“Use to be
Ya could learn a whole lot of stuff
sitting in them
beauty shop chairs
Used to be
Ya could meet
a whole lot of other women
sittin there
along with hair frying
spit flying
and babies crying
Use to be
you could learn a whole lot about
how to catch up
with yourself
and some other folks
in your household.
Lots more got taken care of
than hair
Cause in our mutual obvious dislike
for nappiness
we came together
under the hot comb
to share
and share
and share
But now we walk
heads high
naps full of pride
with not a backward glance
at some of the beauty which
use to be
Cause with a natural
there is no natural place
for us to congregate
to mull over
our mutual discontent
Beauty shops
could have been
a hell-of-a-place
to ferment
a……… revolution.”

In the video of her “Black is Beautiful” lecture, Dolezal claims the poem summed up her presentation to the EWU students. After reading Coleman’s written words, Dolezal says that for black women, hair represents much more than just an aesthetic or style. At one point Dolezal says, “… first we’re kind of gonna need to look at what happened to our hair styles here in America.”

Dolezal explains “the brown paper bag test,” which she told her students was something used during the reconstruction to determine eligibility for certain jobs and privileges based on “how white” a person could look. Dolezal then discusses hair types and texture, and what those traits meant for black people through American history. While Dolezal explains the eight types of black hair, which varied from straight to minimal wave on up to highly zigzagged and coiled hair, Rachel tells the class that her hair falls into the category of either type four or type five, which she implies would have made her more prone to persecution throughout early American times.