Dolezal’s specious claims to black ancestry and faux black identity could not have been sustained and she would not have been able to pass if black womanhood were seen and understood as more than skin – or weave – deep. Wearing black womanhood was apparently even enough for Dolezal’s “fellow” black leaders in Spokane, Washington, who turned a blind eye to what the wider world now recognizes as her all-but laughable claims of racial identity, whether out of fear of rocking the boat or plain Northwestern niceness. Her charade could have only been maintained in a town (and within a society) with simplistic, stereotypical conceptions of blackness – that blackness is a shade on the range on olive to dark chocolate, a set of idioms delivered in a cadence from which American English derives its slang, and any number of bodily characteristics or mannerisms familiar across the globe, among others. And yet, while black Americans have long embraced a diverse array of lineages as kin, simply looking the part and faking the rest doesn’t cut it.
via I became a black woman in Spokane. But, Rachel Dolezal, I was a black girl first | Alicia Walters | Comment is free | The Guardian.