Rachel Dolezal identifies as black. Is that even a thing?
You’ve likely heard of Rachel Dolezal – the white civil activist who spent the past decade pretending to be black – over the past week.
The 37-year-old stood down as president of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People’s Spokane chapter after her parents “outed” her as Caucasian last week.
Her parents revealed Rachel is actually of Czech, Swedish and German descent, with a trace of Native American ancestry.
Speaking for the first time since the furore, Ms Dolezal told reporters on Tuesday she had identified “as black” since age five.
Dolezal would not admit that she had deceived people, the New York Times reports.
“I do take exception to that, because it’s a little more complex than me identifying as black, or answering a question of, ‘Are you black or white?’” she said.
Here, after being shown a photo of black man, Ms Dolezal identifies him as her father:
Ms Dolezal explained that she publicly identified a black man as her father because “we connected on a very intimate level as a family”.
She has a biological son – now 13 – with her former husband, who is black, and is the guardian of her adopted black brother, 21-year-old Izaiah.
Ms Dolezal said Izaiah sees her as his “real mum” so she “certainly can’t be seen as white and be Izaiah’s mum”.
“I have really gone there with the experience, in terms of the being a mother of two black sons, and really owning what it means to experience and live blackness.”