This week's cover story, "The Heart of Whiteness: Ijeoma Oluo Interviews Rachel Dolezal, the White Woman Who Identifies as Black" damn near broke the Stranger website. It continues to be popular a few days later, and has been shared by activist Deray McKesson and writer Shaun King, as well as celebrities like Anna Paquin, Patton Oswalt, and Don Cheadle. Ronan Farrow called it "an essential essay on race & a Gay Talese level masterpiece of profile writing." The story earned a Pocket Hits mention and a Twitter Moment, and Time, Ebony, and Jezebel have been giving the story some love, too.
With a new profile in the Seattle alt-weekly, The Stranger, we finally have a nuanced and appropriately-biting picture of this enigma of a woman who comes as repugnant and unbalanced enough that we can hopefully leave her in the past for good.
From Time magazine:
But if Dolezal felt that her book should explain all Oluo could want to know, she soon learned she was wrong. Oluo’s resulting article is a treatise on how white privilege has extended so far that white people feel as if they can call themselves black. ...
The full article is a must-read.
From Ebony magazine:
To promote her book, In Full Color: Finding My Place in a Black and White World, Dolezal has been on the interview circuit once again, but her recent chat with writer and editor Ijeoma Oluo for The Stranger is THE very last article on Rachel Dolezal you’ll ever need to read–I promise.
Rachel Dolezal has been in the news, sure. But yesterday (April 19), The Stranger published “The Heart of Whiteness: Ijeoma Oluo Interviews Rachel Dolezal, the White Woman Who Identifies as Black.” Oluo’s article has been called “a pretty great example of why Dolezal refuses to talk to Black women,” “the only interesting thing about Rachel Dolezal” and “the only thing you need to read about Dolezal ever again.”
Ijeoma Oluo’s interview with Rachel Dolezal, in The Stranger, is today’s must-read. Yes, Dolezal is the much-discussed white woman who identifies as black. Her again?, you may find yourself thinking, but Oluo’s article goes beyond the oddities of Dolezal’s story, and gets at bigger questions about racism.
Even Fox News had something to say:
If you haven't tired of hearing about Rachel Dolezal—the woman who was born white but now identifies as black— Ijeoma Oluo has penned "The Heart of Whiteness," a new piece for the Stranger that Jezebel calls "so good we never have to think about [Dolezal] again."
From the New York Times:
For those who still think Rachel Dolezal, the former head of a N.A.A.C.P. chapter who “passed” for black, as nothing more than a strange, humorous enigma lifted straight from a Paul Beatty or Nell Zink novel — in other words, harmless — may want to spend time with this moving profile by a scholar on race. The piece shows how a woman who claims to be transracial is only enforcing racial oppression, not chipping away at it.
Rachel Dolezal is trying, again, to explain herself. It won't be the last analysis of the self-described transracialist, but it might be one of the best. If you care. (A lot of people don't.)
I’m sick of Rachel Dolezal, too. You should read @IjeomaOluo’s interview in @TheStranger, though. Then be done. https://t.co/mD0hVESU6R pic.twitter.com/O2IBHDcrrP
— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) April 19, 2017
Last, but not least:
If you haven't read it yet, you really should.