White born Rachel Dolezal returned to the spotlight Monday on "Today" to discuss her new memoir, "In Full Color: Finding My Place in a Black and White World" on Monday's Today show and one thing is clear: She's Black, that's her story and she's sticking to to it.
"I don't identify as African American, I identify as black," she told "Today" show host Savannah Guthrie. “I am part of the Pan-African diaspora and I definitely feel like in America, even though race is a social construct and we've acknowledged this in academia and in science there still is a line drawn in the sides."
"There still are sides. Politically, there's a black side and a white side, and I stand unapologetically on the black side. I stand with my own internal sense of self and my own values. I stand with my sons, I stand with my sister, and I also stand really with the greater cause of challenging the myth of white supremacy,"said Dolezal.
"I really prefer to just be exactly who I am,” she said. "And black is really the closest race and culture category descriptive term that represents the essential essence of who I am."
Calling her memoir "difficult," she insisted that it was a story that needed to be told.
"You know, the book was a difficult one to write, for sure," she said. "But I felt like it was kind of a little bit forced upon me as far as just the need to tell the whole truth about my life and the full story."
"I really hope that readers are encouraged to be exactly who they are. Like I said, I want to tell the whole story of my life, and I hope that in some way I'm able to kind of set the record straight because my life story was really warped beyond recognition by a lot of the negative press in 2015," Dolezal said.
Dolezal also revealed that because of the media scrutiny and backlash she received after identifying as a black woman, she needed to change her name in order to be taken seriously.
"I really felt like I needed to change my legal name in order to be seen for my qualifications and experience rather than just seen for the tabloid publicity that I got in 2015," she said. "When applying for a job, people were just seeing 'Rachel Dolezal' and not paying attention to the wide ranging experience and qualifications that I do have."