Less than 24 hours after stepping down as president of the NAACP’s Spokane chapter, Rachel Dolezal appeared on TODAY this morning for her first live interview since being outed as white by her biological parents Lawrence and Ruthanne Dolezal.
Speaking to Matt Lauer, Rachel revealed that she identifies as black and has felt black as early as five years old.
“I was drawing self-portraits with the brown crayon instead of the peach crayon,” Rachel told Matt.
During the interview, Rachel defended her chosen identity against claims that she’s been performing in blackface.
“I have 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. How I’ve had to go there with the experience, not just a visible representation, but with the experience.”
Rachel was a bit more coy when asked how she achieves her darker appearance. “I certainly don’t stay out of the sun,” Rachel answered.
Rachel’s adopted brother Izaiah (who she now considers a son) and biological son Franklin, both black, were present during Rachel’s sit-down with Matt. In fact, Rachel attributed the solidification of her black identity to Izaiah.
“He said, ‘You’re my real mom.’ And he’s in high school, and for that to be something that is plausible, I certainly can’t be seen as white and be Izaiah’s mom.”
She continued, “I actually was talking to one of my sons yesterday, and he said, ‘Mom, racially you’re human and culturally you’re black.’ I do know that they support the way I identify.”
Watch the full interview below, and make sure to share your thoughts.