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American Woman Only Found Out That She Wasn't Black Aged 70

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American Woman Only Found Out That She Wasn't Black Aged 70

A woman has appeared on ITV's Good Morning Britain to explain how she only discovered that she was white at the age of 70.

Until five years ago, 75-year-old Verda Byrd had believed that she was black, when in actual fact she was born to white parents and then adopted by a black family.

She was born in Texas, but then adopted by an African American family - the Wagner family - from Missouri and raised there.

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Byrd revealed how she only relatively recently discovered that she had a whole family that she didn't know, including siblings.

Credit: ITV
Credit: ITV

Here's the story.

Verda was born as one of 10 children to Daisy and Earl Beagle. Shortly following her birth, her biological father Earl left the family and Daisy was seriously injured in an accident.

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This all took place when Verda was five months old.

On top of the existence of her unknown family and - obviously - the fact that she has lived for 70 years of her life believing she was black, Verda also learned that her birth name was Jeanette.

It's a lot to take in at any point in your life. To be fair to her, she's taken in her stride.

Credit: WLTX TV
Credit: WLTX TV
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Talking to GMB host Susanna Reid, she said: "It's a mental thing - how do I except what these words on this paper is saying.

"Mentally, it's an acceptance of what you are and what you didn't know you were. But it hasn't changed me because I still love me! I identify basically as whatever you want me to be. It doesn't matter."

That seems like a pretty healthy attitude to have, after all.

In another interview with American TV channel KENS TV, she Byrd, who has been married twice and has a daughter of her own, said: "It's was unbelievable. I grew up not questioning birth or anything else because it was never told to me that I was born white."

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Credit: ITV
Credit: ITV

However, she rejects anyone who compares her with Rachel Dolezal, who caused controversy in 2015 when she was found to be white, despite pretending to be black and becoming the leader of a civil rights organisation for African Americans.

She later said that she identifies as 'trans-racial'.

Of Dolezal, Byrd told USA Today: "She lied about her race. I didn't lie because I didn't know."

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Yep, that much seems fair.

Featured Image Credit: ITV

Topics: America, Interesting, US News, Weird, US

Tom Wood
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