Verda Byrd wasn’t always Verda Byrd. In 1942, she was born to Earl and Daisy Beagle and was named Jeanette, but after her father leaving her mother, and her mother dying in a fatal fall. Byrd was left to take care of her siblings and was eventually put up for adoption.
Along came Ray and Edwinna Wagner from Newton, Kansas. A well-to-do black couple who adopted Jeanette, and changed her name to Verda. Verda was raised in a loving and stable home as an only child, but her parents never told her she was white.
“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, whose story is now making headlines after Rachel Dolezal’s story, does have a few words about the fake-black woman. And she is not a fan.
“She lied about her race,” Byrd said. “I didn’t lie about my race because I didn’t know.”
Byrd considers herself a black woman. She grew up living the black experience, but not because she was lying about her race, but because she was never told it. Byrd only found out when she researched her biological parents.
“It’s was unbelievable,” said Byrd.
Along with discovering her real background, she also discovered that she also has other white siblings. But they don’t discuss the issue of race.
Take a look at Byrd’s video below:
Photo Credits: USA TODAY