Rachel Dolezal Maintains That She Identifies as Black: 'I'm Not Confused About That Any Longer'

The former NAACP chapter president opened up in a new interview

Photo: Tyler Tjomsland/The Spokesman-Review/AP

It’s been over five weeks since Rachel Dolezal made national headlines after he parents outed her as being born white, and in a new interview with Vanity Fair, the artist and activist has revealed that she has lost her job and many of her friends.

“I’ve got to figure it out before Aug. 1, because my last paycheck was like $1,800 in June,” Dolezal said after losing her position as the president of the Spokane, Washington, chapter of the NAACP as well as a part-time teaching job at Eastern Washington University. “[I lost] friends and the jobs and the work and – oh, my God – so much at the same time.”

Still, Dolezal will not stray from saying that she identifies as black – a statement she made on Today in the week following her parent’s revelation.

“It’s not a costume,” she says. “I don’t know spiritually and metaphysically how this goes, but I do know that from my earliest memories I have awareness and connection with the black experience, and that s never left me.

“It’s not something that I can put on and take off anymore. Like I said, I ve had my years of confusion and wondering who I really [was] and why and how do I live my life and make sense of it all, but I’m not confused about that any longer. I think the world might be – but I’m not.”

Dolezal also maintains that she feels like she didn’t mislead anyone, despite evidence that she identified a black friend as her father on Facebook and her biracial brother, Ezra Dolezal, claiming she told him to not to blow her cover.

“I don’t know. I just feel like I didn’t mislead anybody; I didn’t deceive anybody,” Dolezal said. “If people feel misled or deceived, then sorry that they feel that way, but I believe that’s more due to their definition and construct of race in their own minds than it is to my integrity or honesty, because I wouldn’t say I’m African American, but I would say I’m black, and there’s a difference in those terms.

Now, she is looking towards the future. Dolezal tells the magazine she has been making money by offering her services for styling black hair, saying she has appointments for braids and weaves about three times a week. She also says her ex-husband is considering changing their custody agreement to allow her to move out of the Spokane area.

As for telling her story, Dolezal says she is interested in writing a book about her life.

“I would like to write a book just so that I can send [it to] everybody there as opposed to having to continue explaining,” she said. “After that comes out, then I’ll feel a little bit more free to reveal my life in the racial social-justice movement. I’m looking for the quickest way back to that, but I don’t feel like I am probably going to be able to re-enter that work with the type of leadership required to make change if I don’t have something like a published explanation.”

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