Rachel Dolezal announces new book on racial identity
UPDATE: BenBella Books confirms to EW that they will publish Rachel Dolezal’s book in March 2017.
EARLIER: Rachel Dolezal announced she will write a new book exploring the topic of what it’s like to be a white person who identifies as black during a Tuesday appearance on The Today Show.
“I’ve 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. [It’s 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 told Savannah Guthrie about what inspired her to write the as-yet-untitled book. “Race didn’t create racism, but racism created race.”
In a June 2015 interview with Guthrie, Dolezal said, “Well, I definitely am not white. Nothing about being white describes who I am. I’m more black than I’m white.” Dolezal had identified as a black woman when she worked with the NAACP and as a professor of Africana Education until a Spokane, Washington media outlet exposed her as being born to white parents on camera.
Dolezal noted the upcoming book is partially inspired by her life post-controversy, noting that it changed dramatically following her resignation from her post as president of the NAACP’s Spokane chapter. Dolezal is also a former professor, having taught classes like “The Black Woman’s Struggle” and “Intro to Africana Studies” at Eastern Washington University. As a writer, she also contributed pieces to regional publication The Inlander, including a piece called Let Us Breathe, in 2014.
“I’m really excited to write the book and get into addressing some of the issues I’ve researched for many years, and I hope to eventually get back to teaching. I have some speaking engagements coming up. I just did a Ted Talk that will be online soon, so [I’m] just looking forward to getting back into racial and social justice work,” she said.
A publisher and release date for Dolezal’s book have not been announced.
Watch Dolezal’s full Today Show interview with Guthrie in the video below.