Rachel Dolezal. Two words that can bring a bunch of sighs and serious side-eyes among my African American girlfriends. Rachel Dolezal is a white American woman who identifies racially as a black American woman.
The challenge for many in understanding her “trans-racial” experience is that she didn’t communicate to people that she wasn’t black.
She didn’t tell them she was a white woman who enjoyed and embraced black culture. To the point that she decided to tan and use hair weaves to look African American. She didn’t tell anybody anything. And stepped into roles and positions, speaking on behalf of the black American experience and black issues.
Which is a huge “no-no” in the eyes of the African American community.
We love our allies in the fight for racial equality. We value those who respect our culture and seek to be advocates for change against racism and hate. We embrace those who leverage their power and privilege as the majority to channel equity among the marginalized.
But one thing we don’t do is mesh well with deception in the area of race and culture. And Rachel Dolezal, whether she realized it or not, placed herself at Ground Zero for both.
Last week, a good friend shared that she’d seen Rachel Dolezal’s book “In Full Color” listed as a suggested book to read from “African-Americans: Past & Present” on the Orange County Library System – Florida website.
I was shocked when I heard this.
Actually, I was straight up angry. Especially ’cause I love books and it’s Black History Month and this is a special time to honor the African American experience in our country. Seeing her book in that rotating web banner legit felt wrong to me.
So I did this:
And Orange County Library System did this:
And I did this:
May the Lord be with Rachel Dolezal in her continuing journey toward cultural identification.
And may the love and power of the worldwide Black Delegation forever be with all who honor and celebrate Black History Month. Wakanda FOREVER!
P.S. Consider reading a book this month about something you didn’t know about African Americans.