Another Rachel Dolezal? Woman discovers she's white, not black, after 70 years
Verda Byrd thought she was black — until, at age 70, she discovered she was white.
This sounds an awful lot like that other case out in Spokane, Washington, but Byrd disagrees.
“She lied about her race,” Byrd said, referring to the saga that is Rachel Dolezal. “I didn’t lie about my race because I didn’t know.”
Byrd told KHOU-TV’s Marvin Hurst she still considers herself African-American. She was born Jeanette Beagle in September, 1942. Her parents, Earl and Daisy Beagle, were white “transients,” according to Byrd.
She says her father Earl walked out on her family and her mother was severely injured in an accident, so she became a ward of the state of Missouri. She was then later adopted by a black family in Kansas.
The black couple, Ray and Edwinna Wagner, changed her name to Verda Ann Wagner. Byrd was “seen and treated as a fair-skinned black child,” according to the KHOU-TV report.
“My adoptive mother, Edwinna Wagner, never told me that she had adopted a white baby,” she said. “She took it to her grave that she had a white daughter.”
Verda has been married twice and has one daughter. She made the shocking discovery that she was white in 2013, while searching for more information about her biological parents.
“Jeanette Beagle does not fit Verda Byrd,”” she said. “Jeanette Beagle does not have an education. Jeanette Beagle has no social security money because she does not work. She never went to kindergarten.”