- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 1, 2016

Rachel Dolezal, a white woman who was caught last year pretending to be black while leading the NAACP’s Spokane chapter, has sparked a new controversy by headlining a natural hair rally in Dallas.

Ms. Dolezal, who now works as a hair braider, is set to headline the Naturally Isis Braid-On, Economic Liberty March and Rally this weekend, The Daily Beast reported. The news came as a shock to the natural hair community since Ms. Dolezal just last summer was widely accused of appropriating black culture.

“Rachel wants the black girl magic and the glory and attribution,” Olinka Green, a Dallas community activist, told The Daily Beast. “But she can’t put up with what we go through day to day.”

Ms. Dolezal was invited by the event’s host, Isis Brantley, who is a natural hair stylist and owner of the Institute of Ancestral Braiding. She said the backlash caught her by surprise, because she had been unaware of Ms. Dolezal’s history.

“I couldn’t believe it,” she told The Daily Beast. “People threatened to boycott me. They are calling me a sellout and saying that I am ‘Massa’s girl’ or some mess like that. I just stopped looking and blocked everybody.”

Ms. Dolezal, who still lives in Spokane, said she didn’t mean to bring controversy to the event.

“I’m not coming as a curiosity or for any controversy,” she said. “My intention is to support Isis and the braid freedom movement in whatever way it will be most helpful. I don’t want to be a liability for anyone. It’s a justice issue and I’ve been a social justice activist for years. It’s really that simple.”

She said the feedback she’s received has been largely positive, and she’s looking forward to the visit.

She intends to tell her side of last year’s scandal in a memoir that she said is a few chapters away from completion. Her book proposal was rejected by more than 30 publishers before being picked up by independent publisher BenBella, The Daily Beast reported.

“I agree with Dick Gregory who says that white isn’t a race, it’s a state of mind,” Ms. Dolezal said. “I pay homage to my African ancestry.”

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