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Black Lives Matter leader Shaun King, the next Rachel Dolezal?
By Kimberlee Buck, Contributing Writer
Published September 3, 2015

Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King accused of misrepresenting himself as biracial

In this undated photo, Shaun King poses where he was the lead pastor of Courageous Church in Midtown Atlanta. King, a blogger who rose to prominence in the aftermath of a police shooting last summer in Ferguson, Mo., pushed back against claims by conservative bloggers that his parents were both white and that he exaggerated an assault he endured two decades ago while attending high school in Versailles, Ky. (Vino Wong/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

In this undated photo, Shaun King poses where he was the lead pastor of Courageous Church in Midtown Atlanta. King, a blogger who rose to prominence in the aftermath of a police shooting last summer in Ferguson, Mo., pushed back against claims by conservative bloggers that his parents were both white and that he exaggerated an assault he endured two decades ago while attending high school in Versailles, Ky. (Vino Wong/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

On the heels of various accusations regarding the misrepresentation of his racial identity, Black Lives Matter leader and community activist Shaun King heads to twitter to defend himself.

King is being accused of lying about his racial background, claiming that he was biracial in order to qualify and receive the Oprah Winfrey scholarship to the historically Black college Morehouse by an investigative blogger.

“Oprah Winfrey paid my way through Morehouse. The leadership scholarship that I received from her is why I have a college degree today. Five hundred other brothers have the exact same story.”

Critics are noting that King’s story is similar to Rachel Dolezal’s, the former NAACP Spokane chapter president who falsely misrepresented herself as biracial.

According to King’s birth certificate, his father is listed as Jeffery Wayne King, a Caucasian male.

“I refuse to speak in detail about the nature of my mother’s past, or her sexual partners, and I am gravely embarrassed to even be saying this now, but I have been told for most of my life that the white man on my birth certificate is not my biological father and that my actual biological father is a light-skinned black man,” he said.

Kings wife, Rai King took to Facebook to share her thoughts on the racial allegations:

“His story is beautifully difficult, and painful. And I’ve actually encouraged him to tell it publicly because it is a unique expression of this country’s sordid and ridiculous history with race. But it’s his story to tell. On his own terms,” said Rai King.

“Out of respect for his mother, and all involved, I hope he continues to let the talking heads talk while he does the real work of holding judicial systems accountable for the 742 women and men they’ve gunned down this year alone.”

Rai King went on to defend her husband claiming he is no Rachel Dolezal.

“There’s no spray tan, no fake Black hairstyles, no attempt to make himself appear any more ethnic than he already does,” she wrote.

Recently legal commentators have responded to the controversy calling it a distraction from the Black Lives Matter Movement.

“It matters because (there are conservatives) that would like to discredit the Black Lives Matter movement at all costs,” said legal commentator Mel Robbins. “Every time somebody does this and they’re not punished for it, it actually has a negative impact on the bigger movement.”

Social media users are taking to Twitter and Facebook to discuss the validity of the racial controversy.

“My work has never been about me and I’ve never made a big deal about my race. I’ve actually tried hard to avoid ever making a big deal out of it and have, instead, simply tried to do good work that matters. I’m eager to get back to the cause that concerns me most,” King wrote.

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