Uninvite Blackface Performer Rachel Dolezal From DreamWeek /DreamVoice
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The DreamWeek San Antonio calendar currently lists an event on Sunday, January 20th, featuring a screening of the film: 'The Rachel Divide'. The subject of this film is Rachel Dolezal aka "N'kechi Diallo" (her "African name"). Dolezal is a white woman who was famously outed for pretending to be African-American in order to secure scholarship funds, solidify numerous speaking engagements, and gain various positions throughout her secular career. Two of those positions were as a professor of Africana Studies at Eastern Washington University and the president of the Spokane, Washington chapter of the NAACP. She was appointed to both of these prestigious positions while masquerading as an African-American woman. Currently Dolezal is also being charged with welfare fraud - after receiving government assistance due to claims that she was living off of a "few hundred dollars a month". During that same time, she is reported to have deposited $80,000 into her accounts.
Not only is 'The Rachel Divide' being screened during this DreamWeek/DreamVoice event, but Dolezal herself is being brought to our city. She will be given the opportunity to speak and promote her book through a book-signing event. This book signing will, potentially, present an opportunity for her to make a sizeable amount of cash from book sales.
She will also be hosted in a not-open-to-the-public dinner here in the city. This dinner, although not hosted by DreamWeek/DreamVoice was made possible by their initial decision to bring her here.
We take tremendous issue with Dolezal being given both an audience and opportunity to further monetize her exploitation of Black women and the community at large. We will not - under the guise of enlightenment or egalitarianism- accept a woman who is a proven fraud lecturing us about her experience. Dolezal's actions were not only dishonest, but they were deeply damaging to the Black community because she took opportunities away from the very members of the community she claimed to be working on behalf of.
Reclaiming Dr. King's legacy demands that we pursue equality. A white woman profiting off of defrauding entire institutions as well as numerous individuals is not equality. It is, in fact, the antithesis of. The irony that no Black person could EVER get away with pretending to be white should be obvious.
This event is a direct slap in the face to all of the Black Women (and Men) who are authors and filmmakers in this city who could have been the feature of this DreamWeek/DreamVoice event. In 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr published his last book before his assassination. It was titled, 'Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?'
It is our firm stance that this event does not create the community that Dr. King envisioned. We demand that Rachel Dolezal be disinvited from DreamWeek/DreamVoice and the event be cancelled.
Kirsten L. Thompson
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