This documentary spotlights Rachel Dolezal, a white woman who was famously found to be lying about being African-American while serving as an Africana studies professor and NAACP branch president in Spokane, Washington. Filmmaker Laura Brownson followed Dolezal and her sons for two years to explore her choice to continue to identify as a “transracial” African-American and how that’s affected her family.
The Rachel Divide features interviews with Dolezal, as well as her friends, family and critics. It also explores Dolezal’s childhood growing up with adopted black siblings. Dolezal and her sister have said the family was abusive (a claim their parents deny), and Dolezal was set to testify about that abuse when she was outed as white.
The Rachel Divide shows what happened to Dolezal after the initial furor died down. Filmmaker Laura Brownson says, “There [was] collateral damage and fallout that [was] very big and very hard to recover from.
“All my mom did is say she was black and people lost their minds.”
This is how Franklin, the then-13-year-old son of Rachel Dolezal describes the socio-political brouhaha his mother created.
UPDATE* Rachel Dolezal will not be at this event.
We will like to extend our apologies to all those affected by the recent controversy. Those hurt by the very mention of Rachel’s invitation and those upset being denied an opportunity to engage with her directly. DreamVoice (presenters of DreamWeek) feel that the continued negative attention is a distraction from the many excellent and varied presentations on the 2019 DWSA schedule. We are sorry to have disappointed those for and against her presence here at DW2019. We believe “The Rachel Divide” is a worthy warm up to spark meaningful discussion on race. We are introducing a panel to share their views post screening. (The CoSA MLK Commission was not responsible for this event!)