"When someone asks, 'Are you black?' -- which I actually don't get asked very often until recently, since a few days ago -- I say, 'Yeah, I am black,'" the 37-year-old activist said.
She goes on to address the claims by her white parents claiming that she is not black. "I know who raised me. I haven't had a DNA test. There's been no biological proof that Larry and Ruthanne are my biological parents," she claimed. "I'm not necessarily saying that I can prove they're not, but I don't know that I can actually prove they are. I mean the birth certificate was issued a month and a half after I'm born. Certainly there were no medical witnesses to my birth. It was in the woods."
Dolezal also explained why she doesn't identify as Caucasian. "Nothing about being white describes who I am. So, you know, what's the word for it? The closest thing that I can come to is if you're black or white, I'm black," she said. "I'm more black than white. On a level of values, lived experience currently. In this moment, that's the answer. That's the accurate answer from my truth. But I hope the dialogue continues to push against, 'What is race? What is ethnicity?'"
Upon seeing photos of her as a blonde, pale skinned child, it's evident that Dolezal has altered her appearance. She told Guthrie that she has "experimented" with her hair but has never had "surgeries or anything like that" to darken her skin.
"It depends on the season, right?" she said of her darker complexion. "Some days I'll have bronzer or a glow or other days, I don't."
Dolezal did break down a bit toward the end of her interview, saying, "I need to do a little regrouping and be able to process the implications now as I move forward."