Rachel Dolezal paints a dark picture of her childhood in her new memoir, In Full Color: Finding My Place in a Black and White World.
In the book, she says her brother molested her as a child, her family forced her to eat her own vomit and she wore clothing made of dog fur.
She talks about her desire to be black at a young age.
“I would pretend to be a dark-skinned princess in the Sahara Desert or one of the Bantu women living in the Congo … imagining I was a different person living in a different place was one of the few ways … that I could escape the oppressive environment I was raised in.”
She would rub mud on her hands, arms, feet and legs, she writes.
As she grew older, she didn't correct those who thought she was black. In fact, she embraced it. She tanned and braided her hair.
Her first marriage to an African American man was rough because Dolezal writes she was "too black" for him.
During a television interview in November 2015, Dolezal acknowledged being born to white parents, but also said she identifies as black. Amid the controversy of her racial identity she stepped down as president of the Spokane, Wash., branch of the NAACP.
Last year, Dolezal legally changed her name to Nkechi Amare Diallo, a West African way of saying "gift from the gods," to help with job searches but continues to use Dolezal for her public persona AP reports.
In February, Dolezal said she was on food stamps because she's been unable to find work.
Dolezal said in a release she wrote the book to "advance the conversation about race" and to set the record straight about her life.
"I wish Americans understood that race is a social construct, even if we don't want it to be," she said in the release. "The system of racial classification is fiction, and we need to thoughtfully evaluate whether perpetuating it rigidly or allowing fluidity across the spectrum best supports human rights and social justice."
In Full Color releases to the public March 28.
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