“I identify as black,” Rachel Dolezal, the Washington woman accused of misrepresenting her race for years, told Matt Lauer Tuesday morning on NBC’s Today show. A day earlier, Dolezal resigned from her post as president of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP amid a growing outcry. She has been at the center of a firestorm since last week, when her birth parents outed her as not having an African-American heritage. Dolezal, 37, told Lauer that early in childhood, she began identifying as black. As young as age 5, she said, “I was drawing self-portraits with the brown crayon instead of the peach crayon, and the black curly hair.” Lauer then showed her a photo from her teenage years, in which she appears fair-skinned with long and straight blond hair. Dolezal admitted that during that time-period, she did not identify as black.
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