‘Black’ Like Her
Rachel Dolezal is facing claims that she lied about her ethnicity after applying to lead a local civil rights group in Washington state in north-west United States.
Her estranged mother says her daughter has misrepresented herself as black since 2006.
The 37-year-old activist is president of a local branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, which campaigns for the rights of African Americans.
She reportedly identified herself as mixed race upon applying for the post.
But her parents, Ruthanne and Lawrence Dolezal, are white – and are adamant that their daughter is too.
Mother Ruthanne claims Rachel began to portray herself as African-American eight or nine years ago after the family adopted four black children.
She said her daughter was “very good at using her artistic skills to transform herself”.
The mother added: “It’s very sad that Rachel has not just been herself.
“Her effectiveness in the causes of the African-American community would have been so much more viable and she would have been more effective if she had just been honest with everybody.”
It’s very sad that Rachel has not just been herself
Ruthanne says the family is of Czech, Swedish and German heritage, with only a trace of Native American roots.
Her parents said their daughter had adopted black siblings, had friends at school who were predominantly black, and married and then divorced an African-American man.
But they maintain their daughter is caucasian, releasing an image which appears to show Rachel as a white-skinned, blonde-haired girl.
Asked about her race yesterday, Rachel said the question was “not as easy as it seems”.
She said: “There’s a lot of complexities. And I don’t know that everyone would understand that.”
She added, in a reference to the origins of human life in Africa: “We’re all from the African continent.”
‘Black’ Like Her