Five months after she made headlines, civil rights activist Rachel Dolezal is back in the limelight, after publicly admitting she was born white.
In June 2015, Spokane Mayor and City Council President launched an investigation on Dolezal, to discover if she violated the city's code of ethics by lying on the application to become a member of the police oversight commission.
On her application form, Dolezal checked off a box, claiming she is Black/African-American.
"I identify as black," she shared on a live TV interview. She aroused a national controversy for this statement and has been accused by critics of cultural appropriation.
On Nov. 2, Dolezal went to another program, with co-hosts Jeannie Mai, Adrienne Baillon, Tamera Mowry-Housley, Loni Love and Tamar Braxton, to talk about the issue.
"I acknowledge that I was biologically born white to white parents, but I identify as black," Dolezal said.
This statement drew a huge round of applause from the studio audience.
She added that she has identified herself as "being black" since she was "really young."
It was around 1998, Dolezal said, that other people began identifying her as biracial, including police officers who marked her as black on traffic tickets. Since 2006, she explained, she has "self-identified as black."
When asked by Mowry-Housley what self-identification means to her, Dolezal said "sometimes how we feel is more powerful than how we're born, and blackness can be defined as philosophical, cultural, biological, you know, it's a lot of different things to a lot of different people."
In an earlier interview, Dolezal, who lost her part-time teaching job at Eastern Washington University and her position as president of the Spokane, Washington, chapter of the NAACP, further explained her stance.
"I wouldn't say I'm African American, but I would say I'm black, and there's a difference in those terms," she 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."