Satchuel Cole, known for years as a local social justice activist, apologized in a Facebook post for lying about being Black.
Cole, who uses they/them pronouns, was associated with Indy SURJ and Indy10 Black Lives Matter. They were a frequent leader at protests for racial justice, as well as LGBTQ+ and women’s rights.
“I have taken up space as a Black person while knowing I am white,” they wrote Sept. 17. “I have used Blackness when it was not mine to use. I have asked for support and energy as a Black person.”
Cole’s apology followed an expose about their family published on BlackIndyLIVE.com.
Cole was born Jennifer Lynn Benton and changed their name in 2010.
Cole became one of a growing number of white women who lied about being Black. Jessica Krug, as associate professor at George Washington University, wrote a blog post about pretending to be Black for years. Then there was Rachel Dolezal, who stepped down from her post at Spokane’s NAACP in 2015 after claiming to be Black.
Satchuel Cole, then vice president of DON’T SLEEP, speaks to media in 2017. (Photo/Ebony Chappel)