Rachel Dolezal’s memoir was released last week, and in it, she discusses not only how she knew about blackness at an early age because of her grandmother’s National Geographic magazines, but also that she was treated like an indentured servant by her parents and was too black for her black husband.
That pretty much sums it up.
Psych! I’m just joking. There’s more.
“I’d stir the water from the hose into the earth … and make thin, soupy mud, which I would then rub on my hands, arms, feet, and legs,” Dolezal states in her book.
“I would pretend to be a dark-skinned princess in the Sahara Desert or one of the Bantu women living in the Congo ... imagining I was a different person living in a different place was one of the few ways … that I could escape the oppressive environment I was raised in,” she writes.
Dolezal claims in her book (which some may think is a work of fiction) that her family forced her to eat her own vomit, her father walked around naked all the time, her brother would hit raw chickens with a baseball bat, and her family only adopted black kids for the tax write-off.
It wasn’t until she was 17, Dolezal says, that she found solace in the story of Miss Jane Pittman, which author Ernest Gaines said was purely fiction.
“I could still relate to aspects of her struggle. I certainly wasn’t enslaved … but it wouldn’t have been too much of a stretch to call me an indentured servant,” Dolezal says.
“Miss Pittman’s plight and her perseverance resonated with me,” she says. “I knew what it was like to be a child and have to work as hard as an adult, and how it felt to be used and abused.
“I also understood the pain that comes from being treated like less than a full human being ... and the fortitude required to fight this sort of injustice,” she adds.
Apparently, Dolezal’s “blackness” was too much for her black husband. Basically, she says, he wanted a white woman, not a white woman masquerading as a black one. She said he wanted her to look white.
So all she had to do was untwist her box braids and cut down on the bronzer. Easy peasy.