Rachel Dolezal says she still identifies as a Black woman upon announcing she is writing a book on racial identity. The former Spokane, Washington NAACP chapter president made headlines last year after she claimed to be Black despite being born to white parents.
In an interview with NBC’s Today Show, Dolezal said it was difficult for her to look back on that time in her life in 2015. She said she’s ready to move on from the “challenging” moment and is looking at some new opportunities, which includes a book and a TED Talk.
The controversial mother of three, who People reports welcomed a new son named Langston Attickus in February, said it’s hard for her to be in public. She’s often photographed on trips to the grocery store.
When Today asked Dolezal if she had any regrets about “some of the things that you said about yourself that have now been revealed to not be true,” the Montana native said she was “not sure what you’re referring to with that, but definitely I don’t have any regrets about how I identify. I’m still me, and nothing about that has changed.”
The question refers to Dolezal actively passing as a Black woman for years. Controversy erupted last June when an interview between Dolezal and a local reporter went viral. It was revealed that Dolezal had been tanning and changing her hair to resemble that of a Black woman’s. She stepped down from her NAACP position that same month and later admitted that she was Black but not African-American.
Once reporter Savannah Guthrie clarified that, Dolezal replied that she doesn’t necessarily regret anything, but she does “wish that I could have really owned, given myself permission to really name and own the me of me earlier in life,” adding, “it took me almost 30 years to get there.”
In a new book discussing racial identity, Dolezal looks to explore what it means to not “fit into one box” throughout life. She says many people have reached out to her since her identity crisis made news, and she also is looking forward to getting back into working for racial and social justice.