Rachel Dolezal, former leader of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), admitted on Monday for the first time that she is a white woman, born by white parents.
Doezal made the revelation during her appearance on talk show “The Real” – maintaining, however, that she self-identifies as black.
"I acknowledge that I was biologically born white to white parents, but I identify as black," Dolezal said, after asking the hosts of the show, "Why not give me the right to identify, how I identify? I think we're all entitled to be exactly who we are and to identify as such."
Her admission drew applause from the show’s audience. She noted that she has seen herself as “being black” from a young age.
In response to a question by Tamera Mowry-Housley, who asked Dolezal what “being black” meant to her, she responded, "sometimes how we feel is more powerful than how we're born, and blackness can be defined as philosophical, cultural, biological, you know, it's a lot of different things to a lot of different people.”
Attention was first drawn to Dolezal’s story in June, when it was revealed that she had long portrayed herself as black, although evidence showed she was a white woman.
When the story broke and Dolezal fell into the limelight, she explained that she identifies racially as “human” and culturally as “black,” and had felt that way for quite some time. At the time, she said of her childhood, "I was drawing self-portraits with the brown crayon instead of the peach crayon.”
In the wake of the scandal, Dolezal lost her position as the president of the Spokane, Washington, chapter of the NAACP, as well as a part-time teaching job at Eastern Washington University.
"I've had my years of confusion and wondering who I really [was] and why and how do I live my life and make sense of it all, but I'm not confused about that any longer," she said in July in an interview with Vanity Fair. "I think the world might be – but I'm not."
"I wouldn't say I'm African American, but I would say I'm black, and there's a difference in those terms,” she added.