Joshua Dolezal

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Joshua Dolezal

BornSeptember 1975
RelativesRachel Dolezal (sister)
Academic work
DisciplineEnglish studies
InstitutionsCentral College

Joshua Andrew Dolezal (/ˈdləʒɑːl/; also spelled Doležal; born September 1975) is an American academic and writer. He is a full Professor of English studies at Central College (Iowa), focusing on American literature, creative nonfiction, medical humanities and sustainability issues. He is also the author of a memoir, Down from the Mountaintop: From Belief to Belonging, which details his upbringing in "a strict, cult-like Christian family" and which received widespread attention in connection with the 2015 controversy surrounding his sister, Rachel Dolezal.[1] The book was described by Kim Barnes as an "intimate and lyrical story of fallen faith, found love, and the way we must sometimes circle back to find what we have lost."[2] Dolezal is also the author of a number of essays, poems and academic papers.

Dolezal received a B.A. in English from King College in 1997, an M.A. in American Literature from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1999 and a Ph.D. in American literature at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2005. He has been on faculty at Central College since 2005.[3]

Sexual abuse allegations[edit]

In June 2015, the Washington Post reported that Dolezal was awaiting trial on four felony counts of sexual assault in Colorado. The alleged assaults occurred at Dolezal's parents' house in Colorado “in 2001 or 2002" when the victim, whose name was redacted in the affidavit, “was 6 or 7 years old,” and Joshua Dolezal was “19 years older.” He denied the accusations.[4]

In April 2018, the Netflix documentary, The Rachel Divide, about Dolezal's sister Rachel was released.[5]. In the film, Rachel and Esther Dolezal, another sister, claimed that Esther was the claimant in Joshua Dolezal's 2015 sexual abuse case and that Rachel had planned to testify in court that Joshua had abused her too. They further stated that Joshua had hired a private investigator to look into Rachel, and it was this investigator who revealed Rachel's racial identity to the local media in Spokane, a claim that KXLY-TV reporter Jeff Humphrey, who first questioned Dolezal on her racial identity in June 2015, corroborated. They suggested that this was an attempt to weaken Rachel's credibility in her claims of sexual abuse against Joshua Dolezal. The charges were subsequently dropped, although Esther claims to continue to contact the district attorney in pursuit of legal representation.[6]

Selected bibliography[edit]


  1. ^ Ex-NAACP leader Rachel Dolezal grew up in strict, cult-like Christian family, brother writes in memoir, NY Daily News
  2. ^ "Down from the Mountaintop: From Belief to Belonging". Retrieved 2017-05-19.
  3. ^ Joshua Dolezal, Central College (Iowa)
  4. ^ "Rachel Dolezal's brother, author Joshua Dolezal, faces trial for alleged sexual abuse of a black child". Washington Post. Retrieved 2018-11-20.
  5. ^ "The Rachel Divide", Wikipedia, 2018-11-11, retrieved 2018-11-20
  6. ^ "The Rachel Divide Reveals a Few Surprising Details About a Pariah's Past". The Stranger. Retrieved 2018-11-20.