Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King, who claims to be biracial, has defended claims that he is in fact white after public records reportedly revealed that his parents both were.
The 35-year-old American, who is an outspoken voice against police brutality, has said he is the son of a caucasian mother and an African-American father and has previously talked about a childhood where he was "terrorised" by racial tensions.
The case mirrors that of Washington state civil rights activist Rachel Dolezal who was publicly outed as a white woman by her own family in July after portraying herself as a black woman for more than a decade.
King attended the historically black Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, on an Oprah Winfrey scholarship designed to help young African-American men.
On Wednesday he referred to the media storm engulfing him as a "white supremacist conspiracy theory", and said the questions that he is facing are similar to conservatives demanding president Barack Obama's birth certificate.
African-American talk show host Montel Williams has been one of a number of people to challenge King on Twitter over the issue. King has stood firm.
Shaun King cut out the damn drama and answer the damn question - good lord you are a drama queen. It's yes or no! https://t.co/YiO9tGwicV— Montel Williams (@Montel_Williams) August 19, 2015
Moving forward, I'm gonna work, stronger, harder, bolder than ever
My life may be your trending topic but I live this
Done addressing it.— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) August 19, 2015
Hanging with my crew.
Friends and family.
Guess what trolls, everybody's Black :-)— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) August 19, 2015
Dolezal stepped down from her position as President of the NAACP chapter in Spokane, Washington and from her roles at Eastern Washington University and the police oversight commission, amid allegations she had “disguised” herself as a black woman.
Her parents Ruthanne and Larry gave numerous interviews to the press, speaking of their daughter’s “dishonesty” and producing pictures of her as a blonde, blue-eyed teenager with fair skin.
They say she is white with a trace of Native American heritage and that she began to "disguise herself" as black after they adopted four African-American children.
Since the controversy, Dolezal, who has previously lectured on the cultural significance of black women’s hair, has worked as a hair stylist, taking appointments for braiding and weaving at the Spokane home she shares with her 12-year-old son.