An American woman who lived her entire life believing she was black until she turned 70 and discovered she was white has revealed how the revelation tore her biological family apart.
Verda Byrd, 75, was adopted at a young age by a black couple who raised her to believe she was African-American. Ms Byrd previously said her "mother took me to a black hairdresser, and I grew up participating in Martin Luther King marches and eating soul food".
"My life was completely immersed in black culture, and why wouldn't it be? For all intents and purposes, I was black," she said.
But decades later Ms Byrd, who lives in Converse, Texas, found out she and her birth parents were actually white, news.com.au reports.
"Am I black or white?" she told KENS 5 in an interview aired this week.
"It's really doesn't matter to me because I'm not changing."
Ms Byrd has shared her story in a new book Seventy Years of Blackness that details her search for her biological parents and what she learned along the way. She never met her birth parents but did track down her biological siblings in 2014.
Dallas florist Debbie Romero previously told PEOPLE it wasn't "the colour of Verda that shocked us, but the fact that we have found a lost sister".
"She could have been purple as far as I care," Ms Romero said at the time. "It's just so fun to have her now in my life."
But according to Ms Byrd, the sisters have since fallen out after one of them allegedly "said the 'n' word", and she has not spoken to the surviving siblings again.
Ms Byrd's story became public in 2015 when she revealed "it was never told to me that I was white".
Missouri court documents list Daisy and Earl Beagle — a low-income couple with five children in the 1940s — as Ms Byrd's birth parents. Mr Beagle reportedly abandoned the family in 1943, and Ms Beagle was injured in a severe accident involving a trestle in which she fell nine metres when Byrd was just five months old.
The state took Ms Byrd and her siblings into its care and returned them after Ms Beagle had recovered from her injuries. All of her children were eventually returned to her, except one: her youngest daughter Jeanette who was adopted by her foster parents and renamed Verda when she was two years old.
"At this point in my life, yes I have received information, and I have been told sometimes Daisy might not have been the most upright mother," Ms Byrd said.
"Maybe when mothers are desperate to provide for the children that they have sometimes they might and often do things that are not acceptable."
Ms Byrd grew up in Missouri as an only child during a time of segregation but said she didn't experience racial discrimination.
"In our little town of Newton, we didn't have segregation," she said. "And nobody really bothered me because my complexion was light."
It wasn't until October 2013, long after her adopted parents had died, that Ms Byrd came across an adoption document with her birth name on it. She delved into her past and soon discovered her ethnicity was not what she had been led to believe it was.
"On every single paper it said that I was white," she said in 2015.
"It was overwhelming — unbelievable.
"I had never questioned it growing up and my parents had never told me. They took that I was white to the grave, and I simply had no clue. I thought I was black."