With a curly Afro hairstyle and tanned skin, Rachel Dolezal appeared on the TODAY show with Matt Lauer and spoke about living a lie which brought her backlash and led to her decision to step down as president of the Spokane, Wash., NAACP chapter.
"I identify as Black," Dolezal told Lauer Tuesday morning.
Throughout the interview Dolezal used the word "complex" to describe how she views herself. She said that "visibly she would be identified as white by people who see her." Dolezal doesn't see herself as white woman who is wearing "blackface" because she has a deep "connection" with Black people that goes back to her childhood days.
"I was drawing self-portraits with the brown crayon instead of the peach crayon. Black curly hair. That was how I was portraying myself," she said.
Lauer asked the question that many people wanted to know. "When did you start deceiving people?" he asked.
"I was actually identified when I was doing human rights work in North Idaho as first transracial and then when some of the opposition to some of the human rights work came, the next newspaper article identified me as being a biracial woman and then the next article when there were actually burglaries, nooses, etc., was 'This is happening to a Black woman,'" Dolezal explained. "I never corrected them."
Dolezal believes her parents and her critics are attempting to "whitewash" her. She added that she sued Howard University, her alma mater, because she claimed her scholarship and TA position were taken away on the assumption that white students had white relatives that could probably pay for their tuition.
The adoption of Izaiah, her son who is bi-racial, was another notch solidifying her Blackness, she said. Dolezal has felt like a victim for the life she has led.
"My life has been one of survival..."
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(Photo: Today via NBC)