Rachel Dolezal breaks silence: “I identify as black”

(CNN/KRON) — “I identify as black,” Rachel Dolezal, former head of the Spokane NAACP chapter, told NBC’s “Today” show Tuesday when asked if she was an African-American woman.

She said that she began to identify herself in some way as African-American when she was 5 years old. When she drew self-portraits, Dolezal said, she used a brown crayon instead of a peach one, and she drew herself with black, curly hair.

When asked what her sons would say about her race, Dolezal said one of them recently told her, “‘Mom, racially you’re human, and culturally you’re black.'”

Dolezal said that, while she may have conducted some interviews differently, overall she’d do it all again when it comes to how she has portrayed herself racially.

“My life has been one of survival,” she said. “And the decisions that I have made along the way have been to survive.”

She said that she has “complete allegiance to the cause of racial and social justice and the NAACP” and is passing her role to the chapter’s Vice President Naima Quarles-Burnley.

When addressing her role in the NAACP leadership, she said, “Please know I will never stop fighting for human rights and will do everything in my power to help and assist, whether it means stepping up or stepping down, because this is not about me. It’s about justice. This is not me quitting; this is a continuum,”

Dolezal’s estranged parents outed her, accusing her of falsely portraying herself as black for years, claiming she is white.

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