The story of Rachel Dolezal, a White woman passing for Black, has taken yet another strange turn. Most recently it was revealed by various media outlets that she was on food stamps, unemployed and nearly homeless. A condition many Americans have faced regardless of their color, but in her case became a sick play on the stereotype of a single Black woman.
The former head of the Spokane NAACP Chapter in Washington state, Dolezal was well known for her having her hair in braids, cornrows and a fuzzy Afro and being an outspoken social activist. Her life all came crashing down when her White parents revealed the origins of her true race. Soon, she was the subject of hashtags, memes and late-night punch lines as many people in America were in disbelief at her transracial charade.
Now Dolezal has gotten rid of her “slave name,” er, “slave master name” and chosen one that is reflective of her transracial identity, she is now Nkechi Amare Diallo.
According to court documents, Dolezal became Diallo in the state of Washington sometime in October 2016. She stole her new name from the culture of Nigeria’s Igbo and Fula people. Nkechi is short for Nkechinyere, from the Igbo language and means “what God has given” or “gift of God” and Diallo is from the Fula word which means “bold.”
The name change escaped the notice of the public eye and mainstream news and apparently Dolezal, rather Diallo, counted on that to use her new identity. In November she created a change.org petition under the name Nkechi Diallo to promote a video of a lecture she gave in April 2016 at the University of Idaho. The petition urged the TEDx organization to air her video and stated “Rachel Dolezal’s TEDx talk on race and identity … is still not available online. Please post her talk online immediately. She should not be censored due to her unique perspective. We want to watch this speech!”
Even though the petition only garnered 30 signatures, the organization, whose program can be heard online and many National Public Radio (NPR) stations, posted the video. But Dolezal apparently is not using her African name for her latest endeavor. Her memoir In Full Color: Finding My Place in a Black and White World is published under the name Rachel Dolezal, not Nkechi Amare Diallo and is due out next month. Even though she is not an R&B singer, her attempt to pass for Black continues.