WASHINGTON, United States, A US civil rights activist at the centre of a national firestorm over allegations that she pretended to be black for years said Tuesday she is “definitely not white” and identifies as an African American.
Rachel Dolezal – who was president of the Spokane, Washington chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP) – resigned from her post after her parents, who are white, said she is too.
But the 37 year old was unapologetic in a series of interviews with NBC News – her first since her story made headlines – and said the issue is one that transcends simple biology.
“I identify as black,” Dolezal – who has tawny skin and dark curly hair – told NBC’s “Today” show.
She said that by age five, she was already “drawing self-portraits with the brown crayon instead of peach. Black curly hair.” READ: ‘Black’ activist resigns helm of US civil rights group.
“It’s a little more complex than me identifying as black or answering a question of ‘are you black or white?’” she said.
In comments to NBC Nightly News, she was even more defiant.
“I definitely am not white.”
“Nothing about being white describes who I am,” she said. “If you’re black or white, I’m black. I’m more black than I am white.”