Rachel Dolezal, Former NAACP Leader Who Claimed to Be Black, Says She May Soon Be Homeless

Rachel Dolezal
Matt Lauer interviews former NAACP leader Rachel Dolezal about allegations she lied about her race on the Today show. Anthony Quintano/NBC

Rachel Dolezal, the controversial former NAACP leader who claimed to be black, revealed in a new interview that she’s unemployed, living on food stamps and may soon be homeless.

Speaking with The Guardian on Saturday, February 25, Dolezal said she has applied for more than 100 jobs to no avail. The only work she has been offered are roles in reality TV and pornography. She told the British newspaper that a friend helped her come up with rent money for the month of February, but she’s not sure how she’s going to pay for March. Dolezal also changed her name on all legal documents.

“Right now, the only place that I feel understood and completely accepted is with my kids and my sister,” the 39-year-old activist said of her sons, Franklin and Langston, and her black adopted sister, Esther Dolezal.

Dolezal made headlines in 2015 after a local reporter questioned her racial identity. The incident led Dolezal’s parents, Lawrence and Ruthanne, who are white, to release childhood photos of their daughter with white skin and blonde hair, in addition to publicly denouncing her as a fraud. Dolezal resigned from her position as the president of the NAACP chapter in Spokane, Washington, in June 2015. Later that year, she spoke out on the Today show, telling viewers she identifies as black and that there’s no proof Lawrence and Ruthanne are her biological parents.

Since then, the former college instructor has written a memoir, titled In Full Color, but was rejected by 30 publishers before finding one willing to print the book. “The narrative was that I’d offended both communities in an unforgivable way, so anybody who gave me a dime would be contributing to wrong and oppression and bad things,” she told The Guardian. “To a liar and a fraud and a con.”

Despite the controversy surrounding her identity, Dolezal still identifies as black. “I do think a more complex label would be helpful, but we don’t really have that vocabulary,” she told the publication. “I feel like the idea of being trans-black would be much more accurate than ‘I’m white.’ Because, you know, I’m not white. … Calling myself black feels more accurate than saying, ‘I’m white.'”

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