Before the Charleston church shooting pushed her abruptly out of the news cycle, the former NAACP chapter president – who considers herself Black despite being outed by her parents as white – had the country as close as it would come to that elusive national conversation on race.
Now that the intense media coverage has died down, Dolezal reflects on the uproar in the new issue of Vanity Fair. Her position has not changed; she says she has deceived no one.
“It’s not a costume,” she says. “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. 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.”