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Fallen NAACP Leader Rachel Dolezal Tells ‘Today’ Show ‘I Identify as Black’

The controversy swirling around Rachel Dolezal, the leader of the NAACP chapter in Spokane, Wash. shows no signs of slowing down.

Dolezal, who resigned from her position in the wake of reports that surfaced claiming she’s white, appeared on NBC’s Today show on Tuesday morning. When asked point blank by Matt Lauer if she’s African-American, Dolezal was cagey in responding, “I identify as black.”

Dolezal, 37, her feelings as a black woman date all the way back to when she was 5 years old and she would color “with the brown crayon instead of the peach crayon.”

When asked why her complexion appears darker than it did when she was younger, Dolezal said she doesn’t stay out of the sun and denied charged this is a modern-day blackface performance. “I have a huge issue with blackface. This is not some freak ‘Birth of a Nation mockery blackface performance,” she said.

Despite all the controversy, Dolezal says she thinks this whole matter has a positive. “As much as this discussion has somewhat been at my expense recently, and in a very sort of viciously inhumane way come out of the woodwork, the discussion is really about what it is to be human,” she said. “I hope that that can drive at the core of definitions of race, ethnicity, culture, self determination, personal agency and, ultimately, empowerment.”

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