In 2015, everyone was talking about Rachel Dolezal.
Dolezal was the president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) chapter in Spokane, Washington.
She was also an instructor in Africana studies at Eastern Washington University.
Dolezal had two African American sons – one biological and one adopted.
She also happened to be white.
Dolezal became the centre of a media storm when it was discovered she was actually the biological daughter of European American parents.
Her ruse opened up debate about racial identity, fraud, cultural appropriation, and trans issues.
The Rachel Divide is dividing viewers. Post continues.
Her critics said she had committed cultural appropriation and had acted fraudulently, while her supporters said race didn’t need to be based on biology.
Dolezal was roundly slammed for misleading the African American community and she was dismissed from her roles with both the NAACP and Eastern Washington University.
Since then Dolezal has written a book called In Full Color, in which she defended her claim that she’s African American and compared her own experiences to slavery.
She’s also given birth to her third son and officially changed her name to Nkechi Amare Diallo.
Now a new Netflix documentary, The Rachel Divide, is taking a deeper look into Dolezal’s past and the events that led her to claim a racial identity that wasn’t her own.
The documentary follows Dolezal in the months after the scandal broke. It paints a picture of a very troubled woman who still can’t see the error of her ways.
From her early childhood with her abusive religious parents, to her adolescence when those parents adopted four African American children, to her early twenties when she began to take on her new identity, all the way to the broken woman she is today.
As the title suggests the documentary has only served to further divide viewers.
While some have come away with a better understanding of and more empathy towards Dolezal, many are angry that she’s still claiming a racial identity that doesn’t belong to her.
Thought the #TheRachelDivide was an intriguing doc, but I really wish they had interviewed some therapists/psychologists bc it seems like her “identifying as black” was not a belief so much as a coping mechanism as a result of her traumatic childhood. Her white bio fam was awful,
— Brynna Ruth (@BrynnaRuth) April 28, 2018