The Purbalite

“The Rachel Divide” brings light to transracialism

Katie Savage, Staff Writer

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It’s been three years since Rachel Dolezal gained national media attention over her racial identity. Now her name is back in the media with a new Netflix documentary called “The Rachel Divide”.

In early 2015, Dolezal was president of the NAACP in her local town of Spokane, Washington. Then a reporter asked a simple question. “Are you black or white?” Dolezal’s hesitance was heard across the nation. Later, she had to step down as it was learned that she is a white woman.

The Netflix documentary attempts to determine why Dolezal was unable to give a definitive answer.

During her NAACP tenure, Dolezal claimed to come from African-American descent. Three years later, she acknowledges that she was born and raised by white parents, but through her life has chosen to identify as black, an idea that is referred to as “transracialism.”

Dolezal says that transracial people identify with another race, in the same way that transgender people identify with a different gender.

Dolezal alleges that she and her siblings had a troubling, abusive childhood. Her parents were extremely religious, and adopted four black children and raised them as if they were white, Dolezal says.

Though the documentary leaves many unanswered questions, viewers are able to take a closer look into the mind of this mysterious and confusing woman.

Dolezal reveals many aspects of her life that very few were able to see prior to the movie’s  release. However, those expecting their questions to be answered in a comprehensive way need to remember her story is complex.

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“The Rachel Divide” brings light to transracialism