A Texas woman just fumes at the mention of Rachel Dolezal, the white Spokane, Washington, NAACP leader who presented herself as black. Verda Byrd, a white woman raised black, maintains: “She lied about her race. I didn’t lie about my race because I didn’t know.”
Dolezal has received much media attention after passing herself off as a black woman when she knew she was white.
Seventy-year-old Byrd thinks of herself as African-American. A black family adopted her in the 1940s. Her mother, Edwina Wagner, knew she adopted a white child but never told anyone. Byrd told KENS5, “She took it to her grave that she had a white daughter.” Byrd now uses her married name.
Verda Byrd found out that her birth name is “Jeanette Beagle.” She was born to Earl and Daisy Beagle in 1942 and was one of ten children. Her father left the family and the children were adopted after her mother fell 30 feet to the ground in a trolley accident. The state of Missouri put the siblings up for adoption because her mother could not care for them.
After Wagner adopted Byrd, she raised her in Newton, Kansas. Byrd enjoyed a good upbringing. Her father, Ray Wagner, served as a porter for the railroad. She said she never questioned her background.
Bryd found out her true racial background after she started looking for her birth parents in 2013.
The San Antonio, Texas, woman found her brothers and sisters. One of Byrd’s siblings told KENS5 they do not discuss race.
Byrd says, “I would not go back to my birth name if I had to.” She continued, “Jeanette Beagle does not fit Verda Byrd. Jeanette Beagle does not have an education. Jeanette Beagle has no social security money because she never worked. She never went to kindergarten.”
She said, “I am comfortable being a black woman.”
Lana Shadwick is a contributing writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. Follow her on Twitter@LanaShadwick2