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The Real Black Women of Spokane Deserve to Be Seen

June 15, 2015

When I first saw Rachel Dolezal in my hometown of Spokane, Washington, I wondered, “Who on Earth is this White chick?”

I had returned to Spokane — where the Black population consistently hovered around 2 percent — for a short stint after living in California, D.C. and Namibia for several years. I was shopping, and she caught my eye. After Africa, I was reeling with the culture shock of Spokane’s sheer whiteness. But upon seeing a White woman with blonde braided “extensions,” my brain took a moment to make sense of it all.

A hairdresser, I thought. She must be a hairdresser and likes experimenting with style.

I tried to give her the benefit of the doubt. Because what White woman in her right mind would rock blonde twists past her butt unless returning from Jamaica or recently discovering how to lengthen her hair with extensions? I attributed the sighting to the madness of Spokane where whiteness — even whiteness with a weave — goes unchecked.


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