Almost five months after Rachel Dolezal resigned as an NAACP leader in the wake of a national conversation about her race, she revisited the matter Monday as a guest on the daytime talk show "The Real."
In a clip posted on the website Jezebel, several members of the studio audience are heard jeering some of Dolezal's remarks while she chatted with the show's five hosts, all of whom are women of color. But there may have been a turning point when host Jeannie Mai asserted that Dolezal is "not black," prompting a response from the former president of the Spokane, Washington, NAACP branch.
"Right, and that's what I said: I acknowledge that I was biologically born white, to white parents," Dolezal said, yielding applause from many in the audience. During that applause break, Dolezal finished her sentence: "And I identify as black."
The latter quote echoes a sentiment she expressed June 16 to TODAY's Matt Lauer, after she was accused of pretending to be black.
"[At age 5], I was drawing self-portraits with the brown crayon instead of the peach crayon, and black curly hair," she told Lauer, just hours after she resigned from her NAACP position. "I do take exception to [accusations] because it's a little more complex than me identifying as black or answering a question of, 'Are you black or white?'"
A day earlier, her estranged parents, Larry and Ruthanne Dolezal, claimed their daughter fictionalized her story as a way to hurt them. "I think Rachel has tried to damage her biological family and those kind of claims, as false as they were, seem to serve her purposes in her mind," Ruthanne told TODAY.
In the episode of "The Real" that aired Monday, another co-host, comedian Loni Love, suggested her life experience and Rachel Dolezal's weren't synonymous. "Let me tell you something: I'm black," Love said. "I can't be you."
During the same interview on "The Real," Dolezal contended, "White isn't a race; it's a state of mind."
At another point in the interview, audience members offered polite applause when Dolezal confirmed she's pregnant — prompting Love to joke, "So, I guess the baby's black, huh?"
After delivering the punch line, Love tapped her elbow against Dolezal's in what appeared to be a friendly gesture, but Dolezal sat still, limiting her immediate response to a small smile.
Follow TODAY.com writer Chris Serico on Twitter.