Presented By
Rachel Dolezal, president of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP, poses for a photo in her Spokane, Wash., home on March 2, 2015.
Colin Mulvany—The Spokesman-Review/AP

The white NAACP official who made national headlines in June after revelations she had passed herself off as black for years defended her racial identity in a new interview published Sunday.

“It’s not a costume,” Rachel Dolezal told Vanity Fair. “I don’t know spiritually and metaphysically how this goes, but I do know that from my earliest memories I have awareness and connection with the black experience, and that’s never left me. It’s not something that I can put on and take off anymore.”

Dolezal resigned as head of the NAACP chapter in Spokane, Wash., after her parents, both of whom are white, said she was lying about being black. The controversy led to a debate about racial identity in America.

“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,” Dolezal said. “I think the world might be — but I’m not.”

Read more at Vanity Fair

More Must-Reads From TIME

Write to Helen Regan at

You May Also Like