Rachel Dolezal, the white woman who resigned as a NAACP leader after it was revealed she had been lying about her ethnicity, still identifies as black.
Two years after creating controversy over her identity, the In Full Color: Finding my Place in a Black and White World author told Today that she stands firmly behind her beliefs, saying, “I don’t identify as African-American, I identify as black.”
“I am part of the pan-African diaspora,” she explained during her appearance on the morning show on Monday (March 27, 2017). “I definitely feel like, in America, even though race is a social construct … there’s still a line drawn in the sand, there still are sides, politically there’s a black side and a white side, and I stand unapologetically on the black side.”
“I really just prefer to be exactly who I am, and black is really the closest race and cultural category that represents the essence of who I am,” the former Africana studies instructor added.
Dolezal, who welcomed a baby boy last year, also revealed she has legally changed her name to Nkechi Amare Diallo after the making headlines. According to her, she had to do so because it became difficult to find a job.
“I really felt like I needed to change my legal name in order to be seen for my qualifications and experience rather than for the tabloid publicity that I got in 2015,” she said, adding that she hopes to return to the racial work she was doing back in the NAACP. “It’s still definitely a big challenge, but I’m 100 percent committed to providing for my kids and finding my way back to the activism work that I’m so passionate about.”