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Racial identity

Rachel Dolezal’s memoir doesn’t go on sale until next year, but it’s already rubbing people the wrong way

November 4, 2016

Rachel Dolezal, the former Spokane NAACP chapter head who was forced to step down after her white parents revealed that she wasn’t biologically African-American, has written a memoir in which she argues that race should be considered “not as a biological imperative, but as a function of the experiences we have, the culture we embrace, and, ultimately, the identity we choose.”

According to the Amazon description of the book, Dolezal’s memoir explores “the discrimination she’s suffered while living as a black woman.” It also features some defiant marketing copy that reads, “A lot of people think they know what Rachel Dolezal is: Race faker. Liar. Opportunist. Crazy bitch. But they don’t get to decide who Rachel Dolezal is.” Dolezal announced the publication of the book — titled In Full Color: Finding My Place in a Black and White World — via Instagram, where a number of commentators, never mind what the marketing copy states, went ahead and made some pretty candid remarks about what they thought of her. Many expressed distaste, in no uncertain terms, at the idea that someone born from white parents could write about the experience of being black.

In the wake of the controversy caused by the revelation of her race, Dolezal lost her job teaching African studies at Eastern Washington University. Last December, she said that the criticism she’d received was “really hurtful,” and she insisted that she “[identified] as black” and that “how [she felt] is more powerful than how [she] was born.”

Read the full story at The Guardian.


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