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Rachel Dolezal goes from president of NAACP Washington chapter to hair stylist after race controversy
By Kimberlee Buck, Contributing Writer
Published August 5, 2015
Ex NAACP Spokane chapter President Rachel Dolezal (AP photo)

Ex NAACP Spokane chapter President Rachel Dolezal (AP photo)

Since her resignation as the chapter president of the Spokane, Washington chapter of National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Rachel Dolezal has had to resort to doing Black hair in order to provide for herself and her 13-year-old son.

Before her parents outed her as faking her racial identity the former NAACP Spokane president was known as a civil rights leader, teacher, artist, mother and hair stylist.

After news hit that Dolezal was pretending to be Black, she became the mockery of social media. Which inspired hashtags such as #AskRachel and #Transracial.

“It’s not something that I can put on and take off anymore. Like I 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,” Dolezal said. Dolezal’s well-publicized identity struggle has, it seems, had a great impact on her professional life.  In June, she lost her job as an African American Studies professor at Eastern Washington University where she taught courses on black hair. The University decided not to renew her teaching contract.

“I’ve got to figure it out before August 1, because my last paycheck was like $1,800 in June,” she said. “(I lost) friends and the jobs and the work and — oh, my God — so much at the same time,” said Dolezal.

The hairstylist now takes at least three appointments a week but is still working on finding a permanent job.

Dolezal has been staying in Spokane due to a custody agreement with her ex but may be able to change the agreement.

Since her resignation, Dolezal has been in touch with members of the NAACP.

“It’s been really interesting because a lot of people have been supportive within the NAACP, but then there’s also some awkwardness because I went from being president to not-president,” Dolezal said.

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