Noise An Arts Blog

Jeez Louise, Rachel Dolezal, the white woman who told everybody she was black even though she wasn't, will be at the Baltimore Book Festival

City Paper

Information about the big-deal authors appearing at the Baltimore Book Festival in September has been trickling in, with the announcement of author and commentator Michael Eric Dyson a couple days ago and a list out now on fest's website that includes—get ready for it—Rachel Dolezal.

Yeah, the white woman who infamously told everybody she was black and got away with it for years until she was exposed and then parlayed that controversy into a book titled "In Full Color: Finding My Place in a Black and White World," released in March, will be at the book festival.

If you're not aware of Dolezal, who among other things, was president of the Spokane, Washington NAACP chapter and, surreally, even stopped through Baltimore during the uprising and posed with Mosby (this was before Dolezal was exposed), you can use Google, but I'd also direct you towards Ijeoma Oluo's profile of Dolezal in The Stranger.

Shit man, I'm just gonna go ahead and quote the whole first paragraph of it: "I'm sitting across from Rachel Dolezal, and she looks... white. Not a little white, not racially ambiguous. Dolezal looks really, really white. She looks like a white woman with a mild suntan, in box braids—like perhaps she'd just gotten back from a Caribbean vacation and decided to keep the hairstyle for a few days 'for fun.'.."

Oh OK, and I'll quote this part where Oluo's rips up Dolezal's half-hearted argument about how since race is a construct she can say she is black if she wants to, as well: "I find her blanket justification of 'race is a social construct' overly simplistic. 'Race is just a social construct' is a retort I get quite often from white people who don't want to talk about black issues anymore. A lot of things in our society are social constructs—money, for example—but the impact they have on our lives, and the rules by which they operate, are very real. I cannot undo the evils of capitalism simply by pretending to be a millionaire."

Also appearing at the book festival (but not lying about their race and selling books about it): Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Chantel Acevedo, Patricia Altschul, and more. The Baltimore Book Festival takes place on September 22-24 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Inner Harbor.

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