Commentary

Rachel Dolezal you may be a black girl, but do you have the black girl experience?

Written by Lisa Colon-Heron
Rachel Dolezal

Rachel Dolezal

Rachel Dolezal sparked a transracial debate and a comparison to being transgender. I’m not qualified to say if there is such a thing as being transracial but let’s call a spade a spade. Rachel Dolezal is a liar. She lied about her parents; she lied about the identity of her father. She likely has a mental disorder and is probably a pathological liar. So I have sympathy.

As this story unfolds we see the extent of her lies. Someone asked me about what it feels like to be a black woman and do I feel disenfranchised. I cannot answer that in a short article. However there are “black girl” experiences you can’t fake or lie about.
For example Rachel Dolezal talked on social media about transitioning to natural hair. She wrote about it as if it was a cool and casual experience similar to changing from brunette to blonde.

Any black woman who has transitioned knows that process is not a fad or the latest “look” It is a painful process that is often rejected by our mothers, sisters and husbands. It is a time when we have to learn how to take care of the type of hair we were born with. For most of us it is the first time in 20 or 30 years anyone has seen our real hair.

For the black girl born in the 20th century has been told that her natural kinky or tightly curled hair is ugly, hard to groom, and so much of a nuisance that putting a chemical that burns off your scalp to straighten it or wearing other people’s dead hair on top of it is a much better choice than your own. The black girl experience includes being ashamed of your own hair from the time you get your first Barbie doll. The black girl experience includes your own mother hating your hair that she subjected you to the hot comb or the “no lye” relaxer (the kiddies version of course) before you got your period.

So Rachel you may be a black girl but trust me you know nothing about the black girl experience.

About the author

Lisa Colon-Heron