Column: Rachel Dolezal: Can you be black without actually being biologically black?
In June 2015, a few days before Donald Trump declared that he was running for president, the news cycle was dominated by a different person: Rachel Dolezal. She was the head of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP, an artist, a teacher of black-themed subjects – and, as it turned out, the daughter of white parents. She said she identified as black, and was living the life she felt was authentically her own. Her critics, and there were many, believed she had been living a lie, letting people assume she was black, when years before she had filed a lawsuit as a Howard University graduate student, alleging that the university had discriminated against her because she was a white woman.
Long divorced from her African American husband, Dolezal is bringing up three black sons, the youngest a year old. And she is still living as she was when she decided to “be black without any explanations, reservations, apologies or room for negotiation.” Her new autobiography, “In Full Color,” strikes the same tone: the wrongs in her story belong to a race-obsessed society that doesn’t permit people like her to be who they really feel themselves to be.
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