Vanity Fair
Vanity Fair

Rachel Dolezal is paying a high price for passing as a black woman. The former Africana studies professor, who still insists that she is black, was released from her contract at Eastern Washington University and resigned as president of the Spokane NAACP. In a Vanity Fair profile Dolezal says she is working on a book about her experiences, and is doing braids and weaves to make ends meet.

As she figures out where she’ll land next, Dolezal says she is surviving on one of the skills she perfected as she attempted to build a black identity. At Eastern Washington University, she lectured on the politics and history of black hair, and she says she developed a passion for taking care of and styling black hair while in college in Mississippi. That passion is now what brings in income in the home she shares with Franklin. She says she has appointments for braids and weaves about three times a week. She says that a previous custody agreement with her ex-husband mandates she stays in the Spokane area, but that now her ex may approve a move given recent circumstances.

“I would like to write a book just so that I can send [it to] everybody there as opposed to having to continue explaining,” she says. “After that comes out, then I’ll feel a little bit more free to reveal my life in the racial social-justice movement. I’m looking for the quickest way back to that, but I don’t feel like I am probably going to be able to re-enter that work with the type of leadership required to make change if I don’t have something like a published explanation.”

I mean she did fool thousands of people with that very realistic-looking curly hair wig, so… maybe she has skills?

Ladies, what are your thoughts? Are you sympathetic to Rachel’s plight, or do you feel this is all deserved?

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila Noelliste, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop culture and black beauty enthusiast. bell hooks' hair twin...

Leave a Reply

39 Comments on "Rachel Dolezal: ‘I’m Broke and Doing Braids and Weaves to Make Ends Meet’"

Notify of
I think Rachael is a good person and has a good heart, so what if she wanted to be black, maybe nobody is counting all the weaves black women wear trying to look white. You can’t even find a black woman with her own hair these days, so Rachael you will be out of business unless you go back to doing white hair, because that is what is on the head of most black women, and some are mad at you for trying to look like them, SMH. Anyway I appreciate the work you were doing with the NAACP. to… Read more »
vivian scheffler locklin
vivian scheffler locklin
I feel where Rachel is coming from. I grew up with my three sisters on an isolated farm in Minnesota. Race wasn’t discussed because it wasn’t an issue, but as we grew up and left home and met a variet of people while we worked at any job that wa honest and paid our tuition for under and post graduate degrees we were all shocked by the overt snd open racism we encounteted. We fought it instinctively, and as unsophisticated as we were, often unwisely and dangerously. At 84 I still can’t understand what triggers it. But I did discover… Read more »
I actually feel bad for Rachel Dolezal….seriously. She’s just as messed up as some black people who swear that their white…(We all know those). The funny part is… white media is going to praise and her books will do really well, there are so many white people out there like her posing as black and wish to be black so badly, just like blacks trying to be white….its so unfortunate. Whether you tan to be darker or bleach to get lighter, when you can’t accept who you are as a grown ass adult, there’s some kind of mental discrepancy. She’s… Read more »

Don’t compare to unlike things. Also there’s a difference between gender and sex, sex is biologocal, gender is not.

Wow! OK, I’m a white woman. I work with the public and treat everyone with respect. I only ended up here b/c one of my coworkers posted a link to some black hair article which I thought sounded interesting. I have to say that I’m appalled by the hatred and bias I’m reading in these replies. Nothing to do with Rachel Dolezal, really, but everything to do with the state of affairs on race in this country. Just ask yourself this: Would you reach out to embrace a person who is angry, arrogant and prejudiced? Of course not. It doesn’t… Read more »
“Get over yourselves” Very easy for you to say when your born into white privileges. We are all human but unfortunately race is a determinant of equality. You stereotype and immediately denote commenters to a typical “angry, arrogant and prejudiced” black individual… over comments, then follow up and conclude blacks oppress themselves. Centuries of slavery, ongoing prejudice, coercion and misery, you don’t suppose that has a long term psychological affect on culture? How can you speak of “the state of affairs on race” with such a closed mind frame? Everyone is human, however, some have to work 20x harder in… Read more »

She WAS ruining lives by taking jobs that should have gone to black women and she’s STILL doing that by doing black hair when she knows she has no business even trying that. Her entire “reputation” was fake because it was built off of lies, and yet you defend her? I guess you wanna to be the one black person always trying to excuse the inexcusable actions of white people smdh


She was one person, and doing a good job.

Philly Jawn

She wanted to be a black woman well welcome to the struggle baby! Kitchen beautician hussle on a serious note ic ant identify as white or pass so why can she do this and its cool

Staci Elle

She could never touch my hair, no ma’am


Whatever happened to her claims that she had been sent race hate mail?
The woman’s totally deluded.

Staci Elle

that was a lie.

Elisabeth Ashley

It’s just so wild to me. Social justice is important to her, but she didn’t have to lie about being Black to make a difference. She didn’t have to lie about being Black to work at the NAACP or go teach or any of those things, this whole situation is so strange and unnecessary.

Oh, I get it…I lived in a Midwestern college town for 8 years and the few braiders/stylists/salons that catered to black women acted like they were doing you a favor AND they charged a lot because they could. Happily I was natural and knew how to do my own hair…I only went to them twice for BCs because I knew they couldn’t mess that up, lol. Others weren’t as fortunate. I’m looking at Spokane’s demographics and it’s 5 times the size of my college town…but it also has a black population of less than 3 percent. I don’t know…I guess… Read more »
The ORIGIN of Cultural appropriation is about DEHUMANIZING Black culture by SEPARATING the CREATION from the BLACK PERSON’S BODY and the BLACK PERSON’S BODY from HUMANITY itself . Separating our genius from our bodies means whites can WATCH a Black person do something great, beautiful, or interesting and STILL DEHUMANIZE THEM (i.e. pro sports).Not only do whites WEAR the skin, cultures, clothing, and beauty traditions of the non-white people that they are racially oppressing like COSTUMES, they feel they can turn non-white people’s old and sacred traditions into meaningless and cheap “TRENDY” GARBAGE; act like the ULTIMATE “SCHOLARLY EXPERTS” on… Read more »
Jennifer Lumpkin



It takes the complete dehumanization and defeminization of ‘Black womanhood’ for ‘white womanhood’ AND it’s pretentions of supposedly ‘natural'(i.e. biological) wholesome, pure, beautiful, delicate, and innocent ‘superiority’ to even exist. White women are a relatively protected class of women whose ‘pedestal’ is built on denigrating the VERY HUMANITY of Black women. Pretending like there is only ONE “ideal”, “normal”, “universal standard” of beauty, womanhood, and HUMANITY, is what is OPPRESSING us. It’s CENTRAL to our oppression and basic safety as Black women.

White freedom and privilege is based on the oppression of other races. There was no ‘white race’ before the “invention” of the ‘Black race’ by whites. Historically ‘white’ identity is a negative identity – it has ONLY meant NOT being a person of color. Race and gender are not really separable in terms of how identity is constructed in this patriarchal white supremacist society. To justify the systematic rapes of enslaved African women and girls, white sl*ve masters constructed the notions of Black womanhood and white womanhood. Just as whiteness is defined against the existence of Blackness, white women’s (so-called)… Read more »



lmao. who letting her do they hair? they desperate. i’d watch a youtube video and try it myself before i let someone with a receding hairline braid my hair. what she think was going to happen to her? that’s what happens when you lie.. eventually, you get caught. she shoulda been putting money away

Staci Elle

” i’d watch a youtube video and try it myself before i let someone with a receding hairline braid my hair. ”

Is it wrong that this gave me so much life?


Honestly I don’t care sigh move on .


Even though she is hard-pressed for cash, she is still getting her story told in a major print media outlet with the possibility of getting a book deal. Sweet. Privilege lives!


Please stop saying that this girl has Black Womans problems. She is white and so are her problems. Her arrogance and ignorance have backfired and now she is taking her black fetish to the streets and hoping some ignorant coons will let her run her spray tanned fingers through their coils for a fee. I couldn’t give the thinnest crispiest damn about her orange and white creamsicle tears.


#dead, I’m crying!


boo hoo! cry me a river! sympathy party of one.
She was making bank pretending to be black…she basically took jobs that should have gone to black women…and in essence hurt black women who needed jobs. My understanding is she was more of a competitor with black women, not so much a friend (loved the brothas though). I wonder which sistas paid $$$ so RD could perfect her braiding style on their heads?


listen…her wash n go wig was LAID.

Cassa Blanca

I wish I could say I feel sorry for her, but it seems she’s STILL hell bent on milking this and profiting of blk women’s experiences by any means. Even at her “worst” she still hasn’t a clue. She needs to step the hell on


Before all this came out, she wasn’t ruining any of our lives. I really don’t care what identity she tries to take on, as long as it’s not harmful to anyone. I don’t feel her reputation had to be ruined, but this is the society we live in.

When someone pretends they’re Native and lays claim to assistance and benefits specifically for Natives, they can be prosecuted and suffer jail time. But blacks in the U.S. were never even granted any real forms of reparations for slavery, nor the willful murder and torture of many during slavery and after to current times. Now, I don’t at all think the Natives are being given the full rights, benefits and reparations they should be, but it would be nice if no one could just claim benefits from a struggle that cost so many lives, without some consequences. I know many… Read more »

Personally I wont judge her before I’ve met her. I don’t understand we live in a world where a biologically born man can decide to be a woman and win awards for it but this woman who wishes to be black…people turn to spit on her. There is gender in equality, there is racial inequality. Both are genetic truths yet we are choosing to which is permissible to change.


She can do box braids for the rest of her life for all I care. There are real black people out there with problems not self inflicted.

Keith Buckner

Ain’t she setting herself up for tax fraud (evasion).

This boggles my mind. – Are there no other braiders or weave-ologists in Spokane? – Are the black women there that hard up for weave and braids? – Are black women there that hard up for attention that they would give money to this woman to be able to say they had braids or weave done by her? – Are black women that hard up for white women’s approval that they would support a white woman who has proven by her actions that she cares more about herself than she does about the people she claims to help? Now all… Read more »
Puat Do

Actually there may not be many people close to Spokane (if any) that specialize in AA hair. I found having lived in a smaller town in the past that there may be 1 perhaps 2 shops that everyone goes to. Sometimes it is difficult to get an appointment when you need and you may have to wait. But I wouldn’t rush out to have her in particular do my hair.


There’s a braid salon near me with all Asian stylists. It’s not just us getting braids and weaves.

A drowning fish gets more sympathy from me…..really she is very plain looking, so if she would just end the foolishness and go on about her merry way she could get a job. She may need a different last name or just go by Rachel D. And that is the difference between being a black woman and pretending to be a black woman. No matter how hard some may try, you can’t simply just wash off your blackness with a shower. You can’t just change your parents so callously and gain a new ethnicity. Some black women may be on… Read more »

Welcome to the real black experience bitch!


Yeah, no sympathy. She can go back to being white whenever she chooses and BAM…black problems solved.