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Rachel Dolezal no longer invited to Baltimore Book Festival

Controversial author dropped from book fair
Posted at 6:21 AM, May 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-31 17:42:41-04

In her new book, entitled "In Full Color," Rachel Dolezal speaks of finding her place in a black and white world, but the only thing certain is that she'll have no place in the Baltimore Book Festival this fall.

Her invitation has been withdrawn.

"It will kind of take away from the purpose of the book fair, because she shows up,” said Amethyst Thomas, a junior at Community College of Baltimore. “That's why I didn't think that she should have showed up just for that reason per se.  I mean if she wanted to put on a disguise, she could have come in there if she really wanted to, but... (ha! ha!)"

The Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts has now dropped its defense of a decision to invite Dolezal here claiming in a statement, "We had to consider how her appearance may affect both the audience and the other extraordinary authors."

Many had suggested on social media that they would skip the event if she showed up.

"You're disgracing another race,” said Ayonna Thomas, Amethyst’s twin sister. “We're proud to be black people and you're just trying to take that away. I understand she's married a black man, but that doesn't make you black. It still makes you the race that you are."

It's been almost two years since Dolezal made headlines when she resigned from the NAACP in Washington state after being outed as a white woman who was claiming to be black.

"The NAACP welcomes all people. So she didn't have to pretend to be black," said Tessa Hill-Aston, president of the NAACP-Baltimore branch, who didn’t oppose Dolezal appearing here, but pities her nonetheless. "For her to be at Howard University and want to sue for not getting some money, because she was white and then move to the West Coast and change her identity to black, that shows you that she has some personal issues and so I actually feel sorry for her, because right now she's almost an island standing alone."

The Baltimore Book Festival claims that it has hosted more than 3,000 authors in years past, but Dolezal's invitation prompted what appears to be the first online petition against someone appearing here as part of the event.