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Former NAACP leader Rachel Dolezal, who made headlines last year after it was revealed she was a race faker, will be a speaker at an event focused on African-American hair

by Abel Braun (2020-05-19)


Former NAACP leader Rachel Dolezal, who made headlines last year after it was revealed she was a race faker, will be a speaker at an event focused on African-American hair.

Dolezal, who identifies as black despite being born white, is set to travel to Dallas to support the BraidOn Economic Liberty Parade and Festival on Saturday.

The natural hair rally is being put on by district heights braiding salon salon NaturallyIsis and will be led by its founder, natural hair activist and celebrity stylist Isis Brantley.

Dolezal, 38, said in an interview that she is not 'coming as a curiosity for any controversy.'






Former NAACP leader Rachel Dolezal, who made headlines last year after it was revealed she was a race faker, will be a featured speaker at an event focused on African-American hair







Dolezal, who identifies as black despite being born white, is set to travel to Dallas to support the BraidOn Economic Liberty Parade and Festival (promotional flyer above) on Saturday


'My intention is to support Isis and the braid freedom movement in whatever way it will be most helpful,' Dolezal told The Daily Beast.

'I don't want to be a liability for anyone. It's a justice issue and I've been a social justice activist for years. It's really that simple.'

Brantley, a Dallas hair braider and owner of the nation's first hair-braiding school, faced a backlash on social media after announcing Dolezal would be joining the event rallying for braiders' rights.

'This woman lied and not only that, she filed a reverse discrimation (sic) lawsuit as a WHITE woman while she was at a Black college,' one person wrote on Facebook.

'How is this ancestral braiding....do u not see how u just gave someone and every other stealer a cultural stealer a pass for cultural misrepresentation, cultural stealing, and cultural appropriation.'

Another called Dolezal out for not having the 'culture or hair texture of Ancestral braiders.'

However, some cut Dolezal some slack and said critics should not get mad at her.
















Brantley (right), a Dallas hair braider and owner of the nation's first hair-braiding school, faced a backlash on social media after announcing Dolezal (left) would be joining the event


'Why get mad at her for admiring our beautiful culture,' one person wrote in the comments.

'She is a civil rights activist, and besides her and one brother her other brothers are African-American, through the love of adoption.

'Not all Caucasian people are bad people some of them I don't even see them as stealing things from us, I believe some of them really see our culture for what it is and the beauty that is in it, and just want to be a part of it!!!' 

In a response to one the critics, Brantley said 'not a one of my people have ever joined this movement yet and it's been going on for 20 years now.'

'I'm so sorry you all feel this way I'm focusing on the braid freedom movement not what America and her children are doing to us,' she wrote.

Brantley, who said she invited Dolezal for her braiding skills, insists she did not know about her controversial past. 

Last year, Dolezal resigned from her post as the Spokane, Washington NAACP leader amid questions about her racial identity after her parents said she was a white woman pretending to be black.

She also lost her job as an adjunct instructor at Eastern Washington University.

Dolezal later conceded that she 'was biologically born white to white parents', and compared herself to Caitlyn Jenner, claiming race is 'not coded in your DNA' and should be viewed like gender or religion.  






Brantley, who said she invited Dolezal for her braiding skills, insists she did not know about her controversial past


Since her fall last year, the mother-of-three said she now makes a living by braiding hair, specializing in styles popular among African-American women, according to The Daily Beast.

Dolezal said in a statement last month that her intentions to join the rally and movement are to 'assist and support Brantley and those who have been leading the cause faithfully for years.'

The press release described Dolezal as a 'braider and stylist' for 'over 20 years.'

It said she is 'passionate about not only the practice of braiding but also has high respect for the history and culture it springs from.'

'The struggle of braiding freedom is a human rights issue,' Dolezal said in the release.

'Ever since forced migration four centuries ago, styling and maintaining - and even just wearing - natural African hair in America has been part of the larger Liberation movement. 

'As an activist, braider and educator this movement is important to me.'






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Brantley said she was taken aback by the criticism she received for inviting Dolezal.

'People threatened to boycott me,' she said as she recalled comments from her critics, adding that some called her a 'sell out.'

'I just stopped looking and blocked everybody,' she told The Daily Beast.

Last year, Brantley won a 20-year-battle against Texas after a federal judge deemed it unconstitutional for the state to force her to comply with arbitrary regulations for barbers and barbers colleges, according to The Dallas Morning News.

In 1997, her case made headlines after she was arrested in her salon in Dallas and was booked into jail for practicing braiding without a cosmetology license.

As a teenager, she began braiding as a custom and independent service and went on to provide for more than 30 years while teaching her methods to others. 






Brantley (pictured) said she was taken aback by the criticism she received for inviting Dolezal


Her clients over the years have included 12-year-old Erica Abi Wright who grew up to be performer Erykah Badu, according to The Daily Beast.

Many who admire Brantley and her efforts were shocked by her decision to bring on Dolezal. 

'Bringing her is a slap right in our faces,' Tonia Lawson, a longtime Brantley admirer from Detroit said. 

L Michelle Smith, a former client of Brantley and a Dallas PR executive, praised Brantley as 'everyone's natural hair hero' and slammed Dolezal as 'the queen of cultural appropriation.'

Dallas community activist Olinka Green said Dolezal 'wants the black girl magic and the glory and attribution.' 

However, Green added that Dolezal 'can't put up with what we go through day to day.'

Several others also find it hard to believe Brantley did not know about Dolezal's background, with some suggesting its all to bring more attendees to her event.






Last year, Dolezal resigned from her post as the Spokane, Washington NAACP leader amid questions about her racial identity after her parents said she was a white woman pretending to be black







Dolezal welcomed her third child, baby boy Langston Attickus Dolezal, in February and is now working on her memoir


'Isis knows exactly what she's doing and why she's doing it... to get people to go to her event, Dallas Kevin Rodriguez said, who has attended hair events by Brantley before.

He also claims there is a Facebook message that Brantley posted in May in which she asks whether Dolezal should be allowed to attend a natural hair event and march in Washington DC next year - putting her claims of being unaware of Dolezal's past in question.

Meanwhile, Dolezal - who announced in April that she is writing a book about racial identity - said the feedback she has received has been positive. 













Dolezal welcomed her third child, baby boy Langston Attickus Dolezal, in February and is now working on her memoir.

She told The Daily Beast the book is a few chapters away from being finished, which she said will talk about her life and address 'the larger issues of race.'

Her book proposal was shopped to more than 30 publishers before she landed a deal with independent publisher BenBella, according to Dolezal.

Back in an interview in April, Dolezal spoke about how she has no regrets about how she identifies herself.

'I don't have any regrets about how I identify, I'm still me, and nothing about that has changed,' she said in the interview.

The BraidOn Economic Liberty Parade and Festival will take place on Saturday and is part of a series of rallies planned on different dates across several cities to promote the Braid On National March on Washington in October 2017.



Read more:



Rachel Dolezal's New Controversy: Headlining a Natural Hair Rally - The Daily Beast

website Rachel Dolezal to headline natural hair braiding festival