This is not a drill.
Rachel Dolezal made national headlines last year when it was revealed that she's spent most of her life pretending to be a Black woman while advocating for the civil rights of African-Americans as a former NAACP chapter president. Although most of the uproar over Rachel's questionable actions has died down, she's yet again stirring the pot with her involvement in an upcoming natural hair march.
Set to take place over Labor Day weekend, the Naturally Isis Braid On, Economic Liberty March And Rally was established to celebrate natural hairstyles and advocate for the freedom of hair braiders. Hairstylist and natural hair enthusiast Isis Brantley, who is spearheading the event, says she welcomed Dolezal's support with open arms as a "passionate advocate" of the cause.
"She is a supporter. I wanted people who are passionate," Brantley told the Cut. "She’s passionate. I wanted people who were advocates, who were activists. She is a fighter for justice.” Brantley is a well-known name in the natural hair community with over 20 years in the business. Most notably, she played a significant role in the passing of legislation that deregulated professional hair braiding and provided protections against prosecuting non-licensed hair braiders. Although Brantley's decision to team up with Dolezal for the event is drawing skeptical responses from some in the natural hair community, Brantley says she didn't intend to fuel any negative energy or drama. "If I knew that teaming up with Rachel was going to bring bad energy … We need to join forces with people of all nationalities that braid hair. This is our gift. This is the blood.”
WANT MORE FROM ESSENCE? Subscribe to our daily newsletter for the latest in hair, beauty, style and celebrity news.
While Dolezal is featured alongside Brantley on a promo ad for the event that has been making its way around social media this week and was also shared by Dolezal herself, Brantley insists that she's not a focal point of the event. "Her only role is in the background,” she says. “We teamed up! She is a braider and she wants to support this movement and see braiders free.”
The Naturally Isis Braid On, Economic Liberty March and Rally will be held September 3 in Dallas, TX.