An excerpt from the March 28 release “In Full Color: Finding My Place in a Black and White World” obtained by the Daily Mail reveals Dolezal would escape her family of “Jesus freaks” by reading her grandmother’s National Geographic magazines and learning about Blackness.
“I would pretend to be a dark-skinned princess in the Sahara Desert or one of the Bantu women living in the Congo,” Dolezal wrote. “Imagining I was a different person living in a different place was one of the few ways … that I could escape the oppressive environment I was raised in.”
Part of that environment, Dolezal said, was the housework her parents instructed her to do that she compared to “the institution of chattel slavery in America.”
Dolezal, the former Spokane, Wash., NAACP head, rose to prominence in 2015 when her parents confirmed she was a white woman who had been masquerading as Black for years. Dolezal explained it away in her book by saying she “consciously maintained some warmth of color in my skin … through sunbathing or bronzer sprays” after being identified as Black by others.
Despite losing her NAACP job and being unable to get a new one, the 40-year-old wrote, “Living as a Black woman made my life infinitely better. It also made it infinitely harder, thanks to other people’s racist perceptions of me.”
Dolezal said she split from her first husband, Kevin Moore, who is Black, in 2004 after she became “‘a little too Black” and decided to wear her so-called Blackness publicly.
“I was a Black-Is-Beautiful, Black liberation movement, fully conscious, woke soul sista,” she wrote. “Finally allowed to blossom, I blossomed fast.”
She also shared, “I felt less like I was adopting a new identity and more like I was unveiling one that had been there all along. Finally able to embrace my true self, I allowed the little girl I’d colored with a brown crayon so long ago to emerge.”
In her epilogue, Dolezal, who claimed she could relate to the fictional Miss Jane Pittman novel about the struggles of Black life, wrote “I wasn’t passing as Black,” she wrote. “I was Black and there was no going back.”
Online, the reaction was largely unfavorable and mocking.
guys you don't get it Rachel Dolezal drew a picture of herself with a brown crayon once, so she understands the Black American experience pic.twitter.com/wjKEJX7ev7
— ella (@harpyshrew) March 24, 2017
I love Rachel Dolezal. She stands firm in her crazy. She makes me laugh.
— Xavier D'Leau (@XavierDLeau) March 24, 2017
Rachel Dolezal is releasing her memoirs and in it she compares her upbringing as a pale blonde girl in Montana to slavery. Bitch bye.
— Curtis Scoon (@CurtisScoon) March 23, 2017
Rachel Dolezal has a music video out omg pic.twitter.com/mKjEhF3NxE
— ᴺᴷ SHOOKETH (@NoMoneyKordeii) March 24, 2017
Some questioned the dislike for Dolezal and defended her.
Y'all let Drake be transcarribean but said Rachel Dolezal can't be a black woman? LMAOOOO
— dean. (@vxrnvn) March 21, 2017
Black Twitter makes fun of Rachel Dolezal while still listening to everything Shaun King (another White person pretending to be Black) says
— Chicago Joe (@adudeinaplace2) March 24, 2017