Rachel Dolezal, the former local NAACP president who portrayed herself as African-American when she is really a white woman, has been disinvited from the Baltimore Book Festival after a community backlash.
The Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts issued a statement Tuesday saying that Dolezal will not appear at the festival in September to promote her memoir "In Full Color: Finding My Place in a Black and White World," accoridng to The Baltimore Sun.
"A top priority of the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts is to listen to our constituents, and after hearing from a cross-section of opinions on having Rachel Dolezal participate in this year's festival, we had to consider how her appearance may affect both the audience and the other extraordinary authors we have planned for the Baltimore Book Festival," the office's Facebook statement read.
"For that reason, we believe it is appropriate to remove Ms. Dolezal from the festival lineup," the statement continued.
Last week, the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts defended its inclusion of Dolezal as an author in a Facebook post.
The office was showered with criticism, though, for inviting her.
BOPA executive director Bill Gilmore told the Sun that the decision to disinvite Dolezal was made at a staff meeting Tuesday, and he declined to explain why Dolezal was initially invited.
Dolezal was born to white parents in Montana in 1977 and says that she started to identify as black at an early age, according to CNN. She graduated with a master's degree from Howard University, a historically black college, but also attempted to sue the college for discriminating against her because she was white.
In 2015, Dolezal was president of the Spokane, Washington, branch of the NAACP, teaching part-time in the Africana Education Program at Eastern Washington University, and chair of the volunteer citizen Police Ombudsman Commission in Spokane when questions arose about her race.
Her parents, Ruthanne and Lawrence Dolezal, said in an interview with KHQ-TV that their daughter is white, despite that claiming that she identifies herself as black. She eventually resigned from the NAACP, lost her job at Eastern Washington, and left the police commission, wrote CNN.
She has since called herself "transracial," comparing herself to transgender women like Caitlyn Jenner, the Daily Mail wrote in March.
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