Civil-rights activist who made headlines last year after her white heritage was exposed says the book will be about people ‘caught between boundary lines of race or culture or ethnicity’
Rachel Dolezal, the civil-rights activist who was accused of misrepresenting herself as black last year, has been signed to write a book about race.
Dolezal told NBC talkshow Today on Tuesday that the book, which Entertainment Weekly reported had been signed by independent publisher BenBella Books, is about “this larger issue of if you don’t fit into one box and if you don’t stay there your whole life, being identified from birth as who you are – what does that look like?”
Dolezal identified as a black woman and was president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) chapter in Spokane, Washington, until her estranged biological parents revealed last year that her heritage is white. She subsequently resigned from the NAACP and lost her position teaching Africana Studies at Eastern Washington University, while facing a wave of anger from African Americans.
Dolezal said she was “really excited to write the book and really get into addressing some of the issues I’ve researched for many years”. “Race didn’t create racism, but racism created race,” she told Today.
Dolezal said the book, which BenBella is planning to publish in March 2017, was partly inspired by her own experiences since last summer, and that she had also “heard a lot of stories from people around the world about their lives being somehow caught between boundary lines of race or culture or ethnicity”.
In December 2015, Dolezal told the Guardian that she still identified as black. “For me, how I feel is more powerful than how I was born,” she said. “I mean that not in the sense of having some easy way out. This has been a lifelong journey. This is not something that I cash in, cash out, change up, do at a convenience level or to freak people out or to make people happy. If somebody asked me how I identify, I identify as black. Nothing about whiteness describes who I am.”
This article was written by Alison Flood, for theguardian.com on Wednesday 13th April 2016 13.30 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010