By Frederick H. Lowe
Rachel Dolezal, a white woman who was elected president of the Spokane, Washington, chapter of the NAACP, having assumed an identity as a black person, resigned her post yesterday.
“It is my complete allegiance to the cause of racial and social justice and the NAACP that I step aside from the presidency and pass the baton to my vice president, Naima Quarles-Burney,” Dolezal announced on the NAACP Spokane Facebook page. She served as president for eight months after being elected on Nov. 17, 2014.
Dolezal had been under pressure to resign after her estranged parents, Ruthanne and Larry Dolezal of Montana, told the news media that their 37 year-old daughter was German and Czech, not African American. Dolezal was born in Troy, Montana.
“In the eye of the current storm, I can see that a separation of family and organization outcomes is in the best interest of the NAACP,” she wrote on her Facebook post.
Dolezal earned a master’s degree in fine arts from Howard University in 2002. She graduated summa cum laude, according to her LinkedIn page.
She was able to turn her assumed blackness or education into several teaching jobs. According to her resume, she is a professor at Eastern Washington University in Cheney. Dolezal teaches African American Studies, African American History and African American Art History.
She was also an adjunct professor at Whitworth University in Spokane and North Idaho University in Coeur d’Alene. In addition, she owns Dolezal Studios, which she founded in 1997. She is a model and ethnic hair stylist.
Spokane is located in Eastern Washington near the Washington-Idaho border.