Radio Sandwell African / Caribbean News

'Black' civil rights champion 'outed' as a white woman by her own family

2015-06-12 16:40:32

Rachel Dolezal© Provided by Huffington Post

A prominent 'black’ civil rights activist has reportedly been outed as a white woman – by her own family.

Rachel Dolezal, the President of the Spokane branch of the NAACP, has been falsely portraying herself as black for many years, her parents allege.

Dolezal is also a part-time professor in the Africana Studies Program at Eastern Washington University (here she is lecturing on the cultural significance of black women’s hair) and chair of the city’s Office of Police Ombudsman Commission.

Rachel Dolezal is the president of the Spokane NAACP

Rachel Dolezal© Provided by Huffington Post rachel dolezal

Dolezal's mother Ruthanne says this is her daughter in earlier days before she began 'disguising' herself

The 37-year-old identified herself in her application to the Police Ombudsman commission has having several ethnic origins, including white, black and American Indian.

The Seattle Times writes that an inquiry has been opened into the matter at Spokane City Hall, to ascertain whether by doing so she violated the city’s code of ethics.

Rachel Dolezal© Provided by Huffington Post rachel dolezal

This 2009 image by the Associated Press captioned Dolezal as 'a woman of colour'

The story first came to light in an interview with Dolezal’s mother Ruthanne, who says the family’s ancestry is Czech, Swedish, German, with a touch of Native American heritage.

Ruthanne told the Coeur d’Alene Press: “It’s very disturbing that she has become so dishonest.”

The CDP adds:


“… Her parents Ruthanne and Larry Dolezal, who are both white and live in the Troy/ Libby area of Montana, told The Press their daughter is not African-American. They backed up the claim with a copy of their daughter’s birth certificate and photos. The images show a younger, pale, blonde-haired, blue-eyed Dolezal, who looks much different than the woman with caramel-coloured skin now leading the Spokane NAACP and helping review claims of police misconduct in that city.”


Ruthanne told The Spokesman-Review her daughter began to “disguise” herself in 2006 or 2007 after the family adopted four African-American children.

She has provided images of a younger, blonde and freckled woman whom she says is her daughter.

Dolezal avoided answering direct questions about her race and ethnicity, telling the Seattle Times: “I feel like I owe my executive committee a conversation”, before alluding to a broader discussion on what she described as a ‘multi-layered’ issue.”

According to the Spokesman Review:


“Rachel Dolezal dismisses the controversy as little more than an ugly by-product of contentious litigation between other family members over allegations of past abuse that has divided the family. She’s particularly suspicious of the timing, noting that the allegations broke on her son’s birthday and come as the Colorado lawsuit filed by her sister against their brother nears a key juncture.”

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