Rachel Dolezal Headlines Natural Hair Rally
So…America’s “favorite” woman who was born white and lives her life as Black is back, and this time, Rachel Dolezal is headlining a — wait for it — natural hair rally.
For those of you who may not remember, Dolezal was caught masquerading as a Black woman last year. The discovery of her true identity resulted in her stepping down as the head of Spokane’s NAACP chapter. The shocking news also sparked a nationwide debate over race, identity and cultural appropriation.
But now the former civil rights activist is scheduled to headline the “Naturally Isis Braid-On, Economic Liberty March and Rally” in Dallas, TX, this weekend.
The Daily Beast reports that she was invited by Isis Brantley, a celebrity stylist, natural hair activist and owner of the Institute of Ancestral Braiding. Peep the flyer below.
Brantley’s Facebook’s post announcing her special guest garnered reactions of shock and confusion. Several members of the natural hair movement struggled to make sense of her choice.
Why would a self-proclaimed champion of Black follicle empowerment choose a white woman accused of appropriating Black culture to be a featured speaker and a Black cultural event?!
Well Brantley claims she wasn’t aware of Dolezal’s questionable past, and says the backlash and social media response caught her off guard.
“I couldn’t believe it,” she told the Daily Beast during a telephone interview. “People threatened to boycott me. They are calling me a sellout and saying that I am ‘Massa’s girl’ or some mess like that. I just stopped looking and blocked everybody.”
Since resigning from the NAACP and losing her job as an adjunct professor at Eastern Washington University, Dolezal now makes a living braiding hair.
“I’m not coming as a curiosity or for any controversy,” Dolezal said during a phone interview with the Daily Beast. “My intention is to support Isis and the braid freedom movement in whatever way it will be most helpful. I don’t want to be a liability for anyone. It’s a justice issue and I’ve been a social justice activist for years. It’s really that’s simple.”
I can’t take away from Dolezal’s hair. I’ve never seen the woman with a bad hair day since she started making headlines. But I can’t help but wonder why she was selected for such a rally. It seems like one would research who it is they’re inviting to become part of their event.
Just about everyone and their mamas know about Rachel Dolezal. But somehow…some way it happened to slip past Brantley’s radar? And if you didn’t know who she was, why place her on the flyer for your event? It would make more sense to post the keynote speaker…right?
I’m not saying it isn’t possible; it is just hard to believe.
Brantley said Dolezal’s role will focus on solidarity, meeting and greeting, and says she will not serve as a keynote speaker.
I get it. Rachel truly believes that she is a Black woman despite her indisputably white ancestry. There’s no doubt in my mind that she feels like she is doing the right thing. But it is up to us, as Black people, to not further enable this type of appropriation. The move, whether intentional or unintentional, SCREAMS, “It ain’t fly til a white woman validates it.”
Come on son. We’ve already got to deal with white women popularizing bonnets via the shower cap. Not to mention the countless times mainstream mags have sought to popularize the very ancient cornrow. SMH.
Rachel has no chill. She is the epitome of not giving one single damn. But we at least have to.
What do you think? Sound off in the comments.