NEW YORK, June 16 (UPI) -- Rachel Dolezal broke her silence Tuesday morning when she appeared on Today to answer questions about how she self-identifies.
"I identify as black," the former Spokane chapter NAACP president and civil-rights activist told Today host Matt Lauer. She said she "did feel that at some point, I would need to address the complexity of my identity."
Dolezal, 37, claims she has harbored feelings of being of a different race since she was a small child. "I was drawing self-portraits with the brown crayon instead of the peach crayon," she said. "It was a little more complex than me identifying as black."
The professor of African Studies admitted in the interview that she failed to correct early articles and reports that identified her first as transracial, then bi-racial, then black. When asked why, she said: "because it's more complex than being true or false in that particular instance."
Dolezal was born to Caucasian parents and has falsely claimed African American heritage for most of her adult life. She claimed to have lived in a teepee during her childhood, had to hunt for food and grew up in South Africa -- none of which her parents Ruthanne and Lawrence Dolezal say happened. The two produced a Montana birth certificate proving the self-identifying "trans-racial" woman as their daughter.