BeautyHair

Rachel Dolezal is Braiding Hair for Money Now

Rachel Dolezal is back in the press. Sigh.

In an interview with Vanity Fair, Dolezal is still convinced she’s a Black woman and that she’s not at all appropriating Black culture. After the media storm hit on her pretend Blackness, Dolezal says she lost friends and money and now she’s turned to her next passion: Black hair!

Speaking with celebrated journalist Allison Samuels, a Black woman, Dolezal defends her identity.

“It’s not a costume. I don’t know spiritually and metaphysically how this goes, but I do know that from my earliest memories I have awareness and connection with the Black experience, and that’s never left me,” Samuels tells Vanity Fair.

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“It’s not something that I can put on and take off anymore. Like I said, I’ve had my years of confusion and wondering who I really [was] and why and how do I live my life and make sense of it all, but I’m not confused about that any longer. I think the world might be—but I’m not.”

In her words, she considers herself to be Black, but not African-American.

“It’s hard to collapse it all into just a single statement about what is. You can’t just say in one sentence what is Blackness or what is Black culture or what makes you who you are,” Dolezal explains.

In the aftermath of being outed by her estranged parents, Dolezal lost her reputation and income.

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She resigned (or would have been fired) from her position as president of the NAACP Spokane, Washington chapter.

Dolezal was then asked to step down from a police oversight commission. Dolezal’s part-time job teaching Africana Studies at Eastern Washington University was no more after her contract wasn’t renewed.

She and her 13-year-old son Franklin are living a much different life.

Dolezal feels media backlash was all a big misunderstanding. She says she hasn’t been able to explain her complicated and long-time love for Black culture.

“If I would have known this was going to happen, I could have said, ‘O.K., so this is the case. This is who I am, and I’m Black and this is why.’”

Dolezal remains in touch with some members of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP, however, the new president, Naima Quarles-Burnley, keeps her distance.

This past June, Quarles-Burnley told Spokane’s Spokesman Review newspaper, “I feel that people of all races can be allies and advocates, but you can’t portray that you have lived the experience of a particular race that you aren’t part of.”

The new president’s statement pretty much sums up the feelings of most Black people.

So what’s Dolezal doing now to make money?

She’s using her passion for Black hair to bring home the bacon!

While teaching at Eastern Washington University (the position she no longer has) Dolezal lectured on the politics and history of Black hair and developed a passion for taking care of and styling Black hair while in school in Mississippi.

Dolezal now books appointments for braids and weaves three times week, according to Samuels’ report.

Beyond doing hair, Dolezal tells Vanity Fair writing a book is next, and she’s hoping published work on her choice to be Black will relieve her of explaining herself.

“I would like to write a book just so that I can send [it to] everybody there as opposed to having to continue explaining,” Dolezal says.

“After that comes out, then I’ll feel a little bit more free to reveal my life in the racial social-justice movement. I’m looking for the quickest way back to that, but I don’t feel like I am probably going to be able to re-enter that work with the type of leadership required to make change if I don’t have something like a published explanation.”

We wouldn’t be surprised if Dolezal got a book deal from a major publisher and we also wouldn’t be surprised if it landed her on the New York Times best-seller list.

Dolezal has privilege she doesn’t realize. Or does she?

Brittney Fennell

Brittney Fennell

Brittney is the Associate Editor of Jawbreaker and a writer who has goals to disrupt culture in ways unseen.