Why is Netflix airing special about transracial activist Rachel Dolezal?

Rachel Dolezal (Screen shot from Netflix documentary “The Rachel Divide”)

After all the hell Mo’Nique let loose on Netflix regarding pay disparity and her possible special, the streaming service has announced a new documentary about another woman who has broken barriers. The special is called The Rachel Divide and features self-proclaimed Black woman Rachel Dolezal and will air on April 27, 2018.

Dolezal reached notoriety in 2015 after it was revealed she was passing for Black as a local leader of the NAACP branch in Spokane, Washington. Dolezal was well known for 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.

That did not stop her from writing a book, In Full Color, and getting rid of her “slave master” name and adopting Nkechi Amare Diallo. However, in true White privilege fashion, she has dropped the African name for her book and the Netflix documentary and goes by Dolezal.

The controversy has put Netflix on the receiving end of criticism and they posted to Twitter the following:

“To clarify one thing: Like all subjects for our documentaries, Rachel Dolezal did not receive any payment for this project. We worked with filmmakers Laura Brownson and Roger Ross Williams, who wanted to explore Dolezal’s life as a microcosm for a larger conversation about race and identity. The film is focused not just on her life but on the larger conversation, including people who see her actions as the ultimate expression of white privilege.”  -Twitter/@Netflix

You can see the clip of The Rachel Divide Netflix documentary on the next page.

Mo Barnes
Mo Barnes

Maurice "Mo" Barnes is a graduate of Morehouse College and Political Scientist based in Atlanta. Mo is also a Blues musician. He has been writing for Rolling Out since 2014. Whether it means walking through a bloody police shooting to help a family find justice or showing the multifaceted talent of the Black Diaspora I write the news.

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