“One ever feels his twoness, ― an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.” ― W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk
“I believe that all men, black, brown, and white, are brothers.”
W.E.B. Du Bois, along with White civil rights activists, founded the Niagra Movement in 1905. Five years later, the Niagra Movement became the NAACP. It has always been led by both Black and White leaders, as it is a unity movement, not a separatist one. Its history in Spokane (1.9 percent Black), of both Black and White NAACP presidents, reflects the Niagra Movement.
This is the background of the controversy leading to the June 15, 2015 resignation of Rachel Dolezal as president of the Spokane NAACP, a White woman raised in a biracial home (four Black step brothers) who says she has had the sense of being Black since she was five. Her Black stepbrother says she is “racially human” but “culturally Black.” Spokane has had no problem with this, but some have called her “deranged,” with “mental problems,” the opposite of the spirit the W.E. Du Bois and the Niagra Movement. Shame.
The NAACP betrays itself when casting itself as a Black organization rather than a civil rights organization. Why was Rachel Dolezal’s self-identity so offensive to her parents and others?
CNN started this with their yellow journalism. Black Sammy Davis, Jr., proclaimed, “I am a Jew.” Former Olympic decathlon Gold Metal winner Bruce Jenner has proclaimed, “I am a woman,” Caitlin Jenner. Are we to be known by our civil rights seeking or blood drop seeking?
Rachel Dolezal is a college professor, an academic expert on African American culture, and is the mayor’s appointed chairwoman of a police oversight committee to keep an eye on fairness in police work. Key documents providing insight into this controversy include her resignation letter of June 15, 2015, as well as the court documents in the emancipation hearings of her Black stepbrother, in 2010, who wanted to live with her and not with their abusive parents. She was later appointed legal guardian of her brother.
Rachel Dolezal’s complex, challenging and comprehensive civil rights story deserves honest and complete reporting, an obligation and requirement CNN and too many print journalists and broadcast commentators have failed to meet.
Her June 15, 2015 letter of resignation provides insight into her commitment to the philosophy and the doctrine of the Niagra Movement and the NAACP. She is a sister committed to our national quest for equality of opportunity for all. Let’s embrace the dream of unity of Martin Luther King, Jr., not separatism.
Clearly, Rachel Dolezal is a person well versed in the history of the African slaves descendants’ experience in America. She has a sense of mission and purpose in life too many neither understand nor support. Shame. She understands studies of anthropologists and historians regarding history’s raids and migrations mixing blood drops across racial lines.
The issue should be keeping our eyes on the prize of civil rights. Rachael Dolezal reflects the rich legacy and history that has evolved from that first gathering in Niagra Falls, NY, 110 years ago. It is our duty to continue the fight for unity of Black inclusion in society, in education, jobs and housing.
Spokane got it right. CNN and Minneapolis got it all wrong. God bless Black America and God bless those who have joined in the struggle for the survival of Black America, irrespective of skin color.