Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Black for a DayWhite Fantasies of Race and Empathy$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Alisha Gaines

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781469632834

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469632834.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021



The Last Soul Sister

(p.158) Epilogue
Black for a Day

Alisha Gaines

University of North Carolina Press

This Epilogue considers the curious case of Rachel Dolezal, a born white woman publically outed for passing for black in 2015. The story quickly went viral and ignited a controversial debate around race, authenticity, identity, and what some wrongly call “transracial.” Unlike the previous impersonators discussed in this book, Dolezal is singular in her defiant, fake blackness. Ultimately, the Epilogue argues that Dolezal continues to exercise the privilege of her assumed, American birthright—to define and redefine herself, Gatsby-style. It is an exercise poking holes in the conclusion to this book’s Introduction, the assumption that “once you go black, you go back.” Instead, Dolezal reminds how blackness can be seductive, provocatively indexing a rather wonderful idea about blackness and authentic black embodiment. This Epilogue argues that, even in its vulnerability, pain, and suffering, blackness is an identity worth performing and pursuing. In a strange way, born white Dolezal’s stubbornly insistent blackness confirms the importance and value of “real” black lives.

Keywords:   Rachel Dolezal, viral, authenticity, transracial, blackness

North Carolina Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .