A lot of people have made up their minds about Rachel Doležal. But none of them know her real story.
In June 2015, the media “outed” Rachel Doležal as a white woman who had knowingly been “passing” as Black. When asked if she were African American during an interview about the hate crimes directed at her and her family, she hesitated before ending the interview and walking away. Some interpreted her reluctance to respond and hasty departure as dishonesty, while others assumed she lacked a reasonable explanation for the almost unprecedented way she identified herself.
What determines your race? Is it your DNA? The community in which you were raised? The way others see you or the way you see yourself?
With In Full Color, Rachel Doležal describes the path that led her from being a child of white evangelical parents to an NAACP chapter president and respected educator and activist who identifies as Black. Along the way, she recounts the deep emotional bond she formed with her four adopted Black siblings, the sense of belonging she felt while living in Black communities in Jackson, Mississippi, and Washington, DC, and the experiences that have shaped her along the way.
Doležal began her activism in Mississippi, where she advocated for equal rights and partnered with community developers, tutoring grade-school children in Black history and art and pioneering African American history courses at a predominantly white university. She is the former Director of Education at the Human Rights Education Institute in Idaho and has served as a consultant for human rights education and inclusivity in regional public schools. She recently led the Office of Police Ombudsman Commission to promote police accountability and justice in law enforcement in Spokane, Washington, and was the President of the Spokane Chapter of the NAACP. She is the devoted mother of three sons.
Storms Reback is the author of three books All In: The (Almost) Entirely True History of the World Series of Poker, Farha on Omaha: Expert Strategy for Beating Cash Games and Tournaments, and Ship It Holla Ballas!: How a Bunch of 19-Year-Old College Dropouts Used the Internet to Become Poker’s Loudest, Craziest, and Richest Crew. He lives in Austin, Texas with his wife and children.
1 Delivered by Jesus 5
2 Escaping to Africa (in My Head) 9
3 Oatmeal 15
4 Drowned by Religion 19
5 Hustling to Make a Dollar 25
6 Chicken Head Baseball & Huckleberry Stains 33
7 Thirteen I 39
8 Adopting Ezra 45
9 Separate but Equal 53
10 Hair I 59
11 Million Man March 69
12 Belhaven College 77
13 Hair II 87
14 Adopting a New Dad I 99
15 Kevin & Howard 107
16 Emancipation 121
17 San Francisco 131
18 Thirteen II 137
19 Adopting a New Dad II 145
20 Malicious Harassment 157
21 Raising Black Boys in America 169
22 The Third Strike 179
23 Black Lives Matter 189
24 Lorenzo Hayes 199
25 Ambushed by Reporter 211
26 Unemployed 221
27 New York 229
28 Backlash 241
29 Survival Mode 253
30 Rebirth 263
About the Authors 281
“Finally, Rachel Doležal in her own voice and words shares her intriguing account and path of conscious self-definition, embodied in a life of activism. . . . Rachel forces us all to question what we have come to accept until now.”
—Bishop Clyde N.S. Ramalaine, author of Preach a Storm, Live a Tornado
"Rachel Dolezal’s early life memoir is not simply a narrative of radical activism. . . . It serves to critique the cultural straightjacket of traditionalist white ‘Protestant work ethic’ society. At this moment of alt-right reactionism, it punctures the fake nostalgia for an imagined pre-multiculturalism era of supposed purity and authenticity.”
—Gavin Lewis, Black British writer and academic
“The storm of vitriol Rachel received in the national spotlight was as cruel as it was undeserved. Her deep compassion for others shines through every chapter of her life and has clearly motivated her truly outstanding advocacy work.”
—Gerald Hankerson, president of the NAACP Alaska Oregon Washington State Area
“It’s absolutely necessary to know the whole story in order to understand the extraordinary racial journey that Rachel Doležal has made.”
—Ann Morning, associate professor of sociology at New York University and author of The Nature of Race: How Scientists Think and Teach about Human DifferenceFrom the Publisher