Rachel Dolezal Tells Today’s Matt Lauer: ‘I Identify as Black’

By Mark Joyella 

In her first interview since her story became something of an international sensation, Rachel Dolezal, the recently-resigned president of the Spokane NAACP, told Today’s Matt Lauer “I identify as black.” (Dolezal will be doing her second and third interviews also with NBC, Savannah Guthrie and Melissa Harris-Perry, respectively)

Dolezal has been under fire since her parents came forward in a series of interviews, saying their daughter was white. In the NBC interview, Dolezal said she knew that “at some point, I would need to address the complexity of my identity.” She said she had long felt that she was black–as far back as her childhood:

“I was drawing self-portraits with the brown crayon instead of the peach crayon, and black curly hair,” she told Lauer. But she insisted she never deceived anyone as numerous critics have suggested.


“I do take exception to that because it’s a little more complex than me identifying as black or answering a question of, are you black or white?” she said.