8:17am PT by THR staff
Rachel Dolezal Writing Book About Racial Identity
Rachel Dolezal says she is writing a book about racial identity.
Dolezal is the former NAACP chapter president who made headlines nearly a year ago when it was revealed she was white after she'd identified herself as a black woman. On Tuesday, she appeared on NBC's Today to talk about the past year and the book, which also will touch on her experiences and the topics she taught to college students as a black-studies professor.
"Race is such a contentious issue because of the painful history of racism," she said. "Race didn't create racism, but racism created race. It's important to think through a lot of those topics and questions that people have and that's why this became so visible because it really challenged people to think about identity: What is race? Is there one human race? Why do we still want to go back to that world and be separate races?"
Dolezal's deception was exposed last year when her parents came forward to say she is white in an interview with a local newspaper. At the time, she told Today in an interview, "I identify as black."
Asked Tuesday if she had any regrets, Dolezal replied: "I don't have any regrets about how I identify; I'm still me, and nothing about that has changed.… I do wish that I could have owned, given myself permission to name and own, the me of me earlier in life. It took me almost 30 years to get there. It's a complex issue. How do you sum up a whole life of coming into who you are in a sound bite?… moving forward, I don't have any regrets about that."
Still, she admitted that the past year has been "challenging."
"It's been some work to rebuild and get things back on track with our life," said Dolezal, who has three children, including a newborn son, and is hoping to get "back into racial and social justice work." She added: "We're doing well. Looking at some new opportunities going into 2016."