Rachel Dolezal, the former Spokane, Washington chapter president of the NAACP who resigned Monday following controversy surrounding her racial identity, spoke to Matt Lauer on NBC’s TODAY show on Tuesday, the first of multiple interviews Dolezal will do with the network.
Last week, after Dolezal’s parents came forward to say that she was white, Dolezal had told a local Spokane affiliate that she would consider herself black. Speaking to Lauer on Tuesday, she repeated that thought: “I identify as black,” Dolezal said.
In addition to the Lauer interview, Dolezal will speak with Savannah Guthrie for NBC Nightly News, and Melissa Harris-Perry for MSNBC, and NBCBLK—NBCNews.com’s African-American-focused section.
“I have a huge issue with blackface. This is not some freak Birth of a Nation mockery blackface performance,” she said to Lauer. “This is on a very real, connected level. How I’ve had to go there with the experience, not just a visible representation, but with the experience.”
Dolezal resigned from her post as head of the Spokane, Washington NAACP chapter on Monday. “In the eye of this current storm, I can see that a separation of family and organizational outcomes is in the best interest of the NAACP,” she said in a statement.
Watch her TODAY show interview below.
This post has been updated to include quotes from Dolezal’s interview.