Speed Reads


Rachel Dolezal on Today: I have identified as black since I was 5

When asked on the Today show if she identifies as being an African-American woman, Rachel Dolezal confirmed, "I identify as black."

The interview came in the wake of accusations that the former NAACP chapter leader has been falsely posing as black —  Dolezal says she is part African-American, but her birth certificate lists both of her parents as white — but Dolezal avoided apology and claimed she hasn't been deceptive.

"I do take exception to that because it's a little more complex than me identifying as black, or answering a question of, are you black or white?" Dolezal told the Today show's Matt Lauer.

Dolezal explained that she has viewed herself as black since she was 5, when she would draw self-portraits "with the brown crayon instead of the peach crayon, and black curly hair."

Dolezal also responded to widespread criticisms — from people on social media, and from her family members — that she is essentially putting on blackface.

"She grew up white in the middle class and she's trying to say she had to deal with racism her entire life," Dolezal's brother, Ezra Dolezal, had said previously in an interview with CNN.

But Dolezal responded that she has "a huge issue with blackface."

"This is not some freak Birth of a Nation mockery blackface performance. This is on a very real, connected level," Dolezal said.