Rachel Dolezal rocketed to international fame when the former president of a local branch of the NAACP was revealed to have been born white. Her life was summarily upended, resulting in the loss of a teaching position at her alma matter Howard University in addition to being let go from various advocacy groups where she had either worked or volunteered. She became a national laughingstock, but also sparked a national debate on the issue of racial identity. She’s written a memoir: In Full Color: Finding My Place In A Black And White World which will be published next month. We’ve received an advance copy here at Break and we’re excited to share some excerpts.
I come from Spokane, Washington, a 91% white town surrounded by snow-capped mountains. I was born in a barn, delivered by Dr. Turnbuckle, who also ran the country store. After I escaped the oppressive, all-white environment of my mother’s womb, Dr. Turnbuckle wiped a few stray strands of hay off of my forehead and wrapped me in cheesecloth, handed me back to my mom, and I delivered my first words:
“CASH ME OUSSIDE, HOW BOW DAH?!”
I’ve always felt like I was born into the wrong body. Well, technically, I was conceived in the wrong body. I should have gestated in Nahil’ia, the sassy DMV lady with extra-long fingernails that made her such a poor typist and were responsible for the typos that added character to so many of our residents’ driver’s licenses. How I ended up in the body of my birth mother, Ruthanne, is a mystery. Well, not a total mystery. I mean, I know how sex works. I’m black.
School was always hard for me and if you think I mean passing the tests and learning how to read and stuff, then shame on you, racist. I’m talking about how I was treated by the white kids in my class: total acceptance.
I’ll never forget the first time I heard the Beatles, and I’m talking about the REAL Beatles, the Jackson 5.
[pg 34 ]
For the record, I do have black relatives. You just need to go back about 50,000 generations.
If I’m not black, explain to me why I can name Jodeci songs that were never played on the radio.
My Howard University application essay was a textual exegesis on Spike Lee’s later work. Yeah, you heard me, I like the recent stuff like Inside Man and the completely unnecessary Oldboy remake. I can’t believe I had you people fooled for so long.
I mean, it’s not like all of my friends abandoned me when they found out I was white. If anything most of the black guys I knew went from ignoring me to being much, much, much more interested in at least trying to sleep with me.
I cried the day The PJs went off the air, real talk.
I mean, what is biology, really? What are genetics? I’m honestly asking. Howard University is not known for having a world class Science Departent.
Yeah, I’ve been known to scream out “Worldstar! Worldstar!” when shooting a video. If you got a problem with that then don’t axe me to film your son’s Boy Scout badge ceremony.
Ayo part of my ruse was showing up everywhere like 10-15 minutes late but that would still be about 25-30 minutes before everyone else.
No I absolutely did not do blackface. You gotta dance and sing for it to count as blackface and, for obvious reasons, I can’t dance.
Damn y’all, I got hella offers to do porn after the scandal broke! I considered “From Blackface to Black Facials” but they wouldn’t meet my quote. (Five hunnid dollars and some sandwiches.)
I got mad more hate crime hoaxes up my sleeve, you betta believe. I’m talking sending excrement to myself in the mail, writing swastikas on my forehead wit’ a Sharpie, smearing fried chicken on my windshield. You KNOW I’m ’bout to get paid. Or at the very least squander some taxpayer scrilla having this crap investigated.