Meet The 73-Year-Old ‘Black’ Woman Who Didn’t Know She Was White

Meet The 73-Year-Old ‘Black’ Woman Who Didn’t Know She Was White

By Sheryl Sanni | Staff Reporter on June 24, 2015
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A 73-year-old woman named Verda Byrd has lived all of her life as a black woman only to just discover that she was born white. Ms. Byrd was born to Earl and Daisy Beagle in 1942 and was originally named Jeanette. She and her siblings were put up for adoption when her birth mother died as a result of a fall.

Byrd was subsequently adopted by a black couple from Newton, Kansas and she was renamed Verda. Her adoptive raised her as an only child and led to believe she is black.

“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.”

Byrd’s story sounds a lot like that of a woman named Rachel Dolezal who was outted for pretending and deceiving everyone that she was black. The plot twist is that while Dolezal lied, Byrd just was not aware of her racial identity.

“She lied about her race,” Byrd said. “I didn’t lie about my race because I didn’t know.”

Byrd still considers herself black even if she has discovered that she is white after researching her birth parents. “It’s was unbelievable,” said Byrd.

Watch the video of Byrd and her story below.


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