Now Rachel Dolezal Faces Claims That Even Her Artwork is Plagiarized

by Cassy Fiano | June 16, 2015 9:53 am

The story of Rachel Dolezal’s epic deception just keeps getting better and better. It turns out now that not only did she fake her race, she faked her artwork too, plagiarizing it from another artist.

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Rachel Dolezal, the NAACP leader who resigned on Monday after it was revealed that she had pretended to be black, has now been outed as a plagiarist.

According to her art blog, Dolezal is ‘an award-winning Mixed Media Artist,’ but she has had accusations of plagiarism levelled against her in relation to at least one of her pieces.

The similarities between Dolezal’s acrylic paintings The Shape of Our Kind and J.M.W. Turner’s 1840 work The Slave Ship are astounding.


The first person to note that the two pieces are almost identical was Twitter user Jolie Adams, while others who’ve commented include one user who posted: ‘No shoutouts to JMW Turner?’ underneath, reports voactiv.

Dolezal received an MFA from Howard University in 2002, where she has claimed that she majored in ‘experimental studio’ and minored in sculpture.

The website for Howard’s Art Department includes no evidence that there ever was an experimental studio major.

… It has also been reveal that Dolezal, then known as Rachel Moore, sued the historically black college after she graduated with a Master of Fine Arts degree in 2002.

Dolezal alleged discrimination ‘based on race, pregnancy, family responsibilities, and gender,’ according to court documents obtained by The Smoking Gun.

She alleged that the university denied her teaching positions and a scholarship. She also claimed that a university official removed some of her artwork from a student exhibition in order to ‘favor African-American students over’ her.

Dolezal, who was president of NAACP’s Spokane, Washington chapter, filed the suit in D.C.’s Superior Court claiming that the university was ‘permeated with discriminatory intimidation, ridicule, and insult,’ according to court documents.

The lawsuit reportedly sought damages for medical and emotional distress, the Washington Times reports.

The case was dismissed in February 2004 with Judge Zoe Bush ruling there was no evidence that the blonde-haired, blue-eyed woman was discriminated against on the basis of race or other factors.

She was ordered to reimburse the university more than $3,000 for costs spent on the case, according to the Times.

A few years later, Dolezal would transform herself from a blonde-haired, blue-eyed woman to a kinky-haired, light-brown activist. Spearheading racial justice events, reporting alleged hate crimes, and even giving a lecture on the history of black hairstyles, she created a new identity for herself.

Dolezal announced Monday in a Facebook post that she is resigning from her position with the NAACP.

The post reads in part: ‘It is with 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-Burnley.’

She does not directly address the firestorm surrounding her identity, but wrote in the post that she has waited to speak out about her position ‘while others expressed their feelings, beliefs, confusions and even conclusions – absent the full story.’

It is unclear whether Dolezal would also quit her part-time teaching position in African-American studies at Eastern Washington University, the New York Times reports. It is also unknown whether she will give up her membership on the Spokane police ombudsman’s commission.

It’s really enough to make you wonder if she has some kind of mental illness, to go to such lengths to deceive so many. The best thing for her would be to disappear and work out the insane number of issues she so clearly seems to have.

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