Rachel Anne Doležal is a white woman who self-identifies as African-American. She also goes by the name Nkechi Amare Diallo, which means “gift of God” and “bold” in the Igbo language, which is spoken primarily in Nigeria.
To look like an African-American woman, Doležal darkens her skin and perms her hair. From 2009 to 2015, she claimed several times that she was a victim of race-related harassment but all of her allegations resulted neither in an arrest nor in the filing of criminal charges.
To back up the persona, Doležal took to Facebook to post a photo of herself with an African-American man named Albert Wilkerson, which she identified as her father. On June 10, 2015, KXLY-TV reporter Jeff Humphrey asked her about him, “Is that your dad?”
“Yeah,” Doležal replied. “That’s… that’s my dad.”
“This man right here is your father?” Humphrey continued asking. “Right there?”
“Do you have a question about that?” Doležal answered with a question, which Humphrey answered with, “Yes, ma’am. I was wondering if, uh, your dad really is an African-American man?”
“That’s a very, I mean, I don’t know what you’re implying,” Doležal was visibly uncomfortable. It became worse when Humphrey asked, “Are you African-American?”
“I don’t…” Doležal clearly was not prepared for the question. “I don’t understand the question of, I did tell you that yes that’s my dad and he was unable to come in January.”
“Are your parents, are they white?” Humphrey asked. While walking away, Doležal said, “I refuse..”
What Doležal refused to tell Humphrey was the fact that she is of Czech, German and Swedish descent. Here are 13 more things about her:
- She was born in Troy, Lincoln County, Montana, United States to German-Czech father Lawrence “Larry” A. Doležal and German-Swedish mother Ruthanne Schertel Doležal.
- Raised in the Pentecostal faith, she was homeschooled via the Christian Liberty Academy CLASS program. She achieved a 4.0 grade point average and was one of the co-valedictorians when she graduated in 1996. In the same year, Tandy Leather awarded her $2,000 scholarship for college for her entry in the Leather Art contest. In 1998, she expressed African-American themes through collages and mixed-media works, which she entered at the annual Juneteenth celebration in Spokane, Washington, USA.
- In 2000, she earned her bachelor’s degree from Belhaven University in Jackson, Mississippi, USA. In the same year, she married Kevin Moore, an African-American medical student at Howard University in Washington, D.C., USA. She gave birth to their son Franklin Doležal Moore in 2002. In 2004, Kevin divorced her.
- In 2002, she graduated summa cum laude from Howard University with a master’s degree in fine arts. In the same year, she sued the university for denying her scholarship funds, a teaching assistant position and other opportunities because she was a white woman. In the lawsuit, she accused the university of removing her artwork from a student exhibition in 2001 with a discriminatory purpose to favor African-American students over her. Judge Zoe Bush dismissed her complaint in February 2004. She claimed in an interview with The Easterner in February 2015 that while she was attended the university, a trusted mentor sexually assaulted her but suing was almost impossible because of the amount of wealth the man had.
- Her biological brother Joshua Andrew Doležal was born in September 1975. When she was a teenager, their parents adopted three African-American children namely Zachariah Dolezal, Ezra Dolezal and Izaiah Dolezal and one Haitian child. From 2002 to 2006, their parents and adopted siblings moved to South Africa where they served as Christian missionaries.
- In 2007, started to adopt her African-American identity and became estranged from her parents. In the same year, she worked at School Indigo in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, USA as an art teacher. In 2008, she became the education director of the Human Rights Education Institute in Coeur d’Alene. In July 2010, she asked the institute’s board of directors to name her executive director and submitted her letter of resignation contingent on the board refusing her promotion. The board accepted her resignation and appointed its new development director Dan Lepow as executive director. It was “a forced resignation,” The Spokesman-Review quoted her as saying.
- In 2010, Eastern Washington University in Cheney, Washington hired her as an instructor in the Africana Education program on a quarter by quarter basis. On June 15, 2015, the university announced that she was no longer its employee.
- In 2014, she was elected president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) chapter in Spokane. On June 15, 2015, she resigned from the organization following the revelation that she is not African-American as she claimed for years. On the same day, The Inlander, a publication to which she had contributed announced that it had cut ties with her. On November 2, 2015, she appeared on “The Real” where she acknowledged for the first time that she was “biologically born white to white parents” but explained that she identified as black.
- Between August 2015 and December 2017, she received $8,847 in food and childcare assistance while receiving tens of thousands of dollars in unreported income. The Washington State Department of Social and Health Services charged her with second-degree perjury and felony theft by welfare fraud. On March 25, 2019, she entered into a diversion agreement in Spokane County Superior Court. She agreed to repay her assistance benefits and complete 120 hours of community service to avoid a trial.
- On February 16, 2016, she gave birth to Langston Attickus Doležal. She did not reveal the identity of the child’s father. The boy was named after African-American poet, author and social activist Langston Hughes and African-American-Native American stevedore Crispus Attucks, the first American killed in the American Revolution.
- In an interview with The Stranger writer Ijeoma Oluo in April 2017, she said multiple times that black people have rejected her because they simply have not learned yet that race is a social construct created by white supremacists. BenBella Books published her memoir “In Full Color: Finding My Place in a Black and White World,” which she co-wrote with Storms Reback. On October 7, 2017, a judge granted her request to change her name to Nkechi Amare Diallo.
- He was 40 years old when a documentary about her life titled “The Rachel Divide” was screened at Tribeca Film Festival in New York City, New York, USA on April 23, 2018. Netflix released it on April 27, 2018.
- In an interview with the New York Post in July 2020, she revealed that the Black Lives Matter movement in Spokane declined her offer to get involved.