- The Washington Times - Monday, July 20, 2015

Rachel Dolezal, the daughter of white parents who passed herself off as black for years as she led the NAACP’s Spokane, Washington, chapter, insists that she fully identifies as a black woman.

“It’s not a costume,” she told Vanity Fair in an interview published Sunday night. “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.”

Ms. Dolezal, 37, stepped down as chapter president amid national headlines in June after she was accused of lying about her race by her own parents.

“I just feel like I didn’t mislead anybody; I didn’t deceive anybody,” Ms. Dolezal says now. “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.”

“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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