Kimberly Moffitt, American Studies, Responds to Rachel Dolezal Story on ABC 2 Baltimore

Kimberly MoffittKimberly Moffitt, an associate professor of American studies, was interviewed by ABC 2 Baltimore for a segment that explored the fixed nature of race in society following up on the Rachel Dolezal story. “We’re so comfortable to fixate people into boxes to say this is where you belong because of skin hue because of the activities you do,” Moffitt said.

Commenting on race as a social construction, she added: “I also think that it proves to us that as much as we as individuals would want to embody or claim our own racial categories, the reality is society dictates that to us and we don’t have control over that.”

“For members of the black community it’s a major struggle because we are used to people appropriating blackness, but we’re not used to people trying to embody blackness and actually assume it by phenotypically changing aspects of who they are in order to be seen as something that they aren’t,” said Moffitt. “For those of us who live and breathe this every day, it’s not something that we can put on and then take off.”

To watch the full segment, which originally aired on WMAR-TV’s 11 p.m. newscast on June 16, click here.

On Thursday, June 18, Prof. Moffitt was again interviewed for a live segment on ABC 2’s 6 p.m. newscast about the Charleston church shooting. Check back here for video of the segment to be posted soon.