Rachel Dolezal’s self-identification as black became the subject of controversy in June 2015, after Dolezal was asked by KXLY-TV reporter Jeff Humphrey about a photo on the Facebook page of the Spokane NAACP chapter of a black man identified as Dolezal’s father. After being asked if the man was really Dolezal’s father, she said he was but would not answer when asked if she was African American. She then walked out of the interview.
Dolezal’s parents later stated that their daughter had been trying to “disguise herself” as African-American. They presented a copy of their daughter’s Montana birth certificate, and said that she is of German and Czech heritage, with “faint traces” of Native American ancestry. Her parents said Dolezal began to identify herself more with the African-American community around 2007. An investigation by professional genealogist Elizabeth Banas found only white ancestors over the last four centuries, including ancestors of German, Dutch, Swedish and Czech origin. It later emerged that Spokane’s police chief had tired of dealing with Dolezal, and asked a private investigator to find out more information on her. The investigator got in touch with Dolezal’s parents, and discovered that she was really a white woman