Joshua Schneeloch was born in 1969 in a tiny German village, a black orphan abandoned on the first day of his life. The son of an unwed white German woman and an anonymous Black-American GI, the baby Joshua was given up for adoption at birth and grew up cloistered in a secluded Catholic convent in a bucolic German village, nestled on the southwest border of France. Raised by nuns, young Joshua knew nothing of his birth family and therefore struggled to create an identity for himself in a world where he was unlike anyone else around him. During his childhood, Joshua lived an amazing life but always longed to understand his place in the world.
Joshua Schneeloch in 1976 with Sister Dolore Fischbacher on the left picture. Author of the upcoming memoir, The Favored Son, How a Black Orphan Conquered Europe on His Way to America
After leaving the convent – emancipated and alone -- as an 18-year-old young man, Joshua began to discover himself, or more accurately, to create an identity for himself, as if painting on a plain white canvas. He joined the German military for three years and became an expert marksman and driver. He began to venture out into a world unlike anything he experienced in the 19th-century monastery he grew up in, learned to speak English, and went back to school. He traveled for the first time to America in his early 20’s when he met the brother of his nun, Siegfried, of Siegfried and Roy fame, in Las Vegas. Not soon after returning to Germany, Joshua was discovered by one of Europe’s top fashion designers and soared to fame and celebrity in an instant.
Siegfried Fischbacher with his Sister Dolore Fischbacher and Siegfried and Roy with Dolore Fischbacher. The picture on the right is Joshua Schneeloch with Fashion Designer Guido Michels and Siegfried and Roy at the Mirage Hotel Las Vegas 1992.
He became the toast of European haute couture fashion, flaunted by the world’s top designers, one of whom tattooed him with a black dragon, an indelible mark he still wears on the side of his head to this day. From Milan to Hamburg and all across Europe and America, Schneeloch balanced the various aspects of his duality (race, culture, class, sexual orientation), and emerged, driven by dreams of his father and America, and the burning, almost defiant determination never to rely on anyone, emotionally or financially. His image, the figure of an African Adonis was new to Europe and he embodied that mystic in magazines, on runways and on film all over Europe. He continued to expand his horizons, and paid for his continued education and experienced a world and a lifestyle few could ever imagine, much less himself. He relied on his spiritual foundation from birth to overcome his fears and anxiety whenever he reached his lowest, haunted by the fear of abandonment. Wherever he went, he felt as an outsider, a visitor peering in. Through it all, Joshua had a burning curiosity to know his roots, his dark roots.
Joshua Schneeloch at the Catwalk for Thierry Manfred Mugler and Jean Paul Gaultier in Milan and Paris. Author of the upcoming memoir, The Favored Son, How a Black Orphan Conquered Europe on His Way to America
For a decade, Joshua worked in fashion and then in television production and programming. He was a member of the popular music group InColor, a European version of InSync, produced by Frank Farian and Andrew White. As a television personality, Joshua hosted a lifestyle show and was considered a celebrity. As the mature man emerged, Joshua transitioned to the world of business, first as a sales executive for Teltec, a European distributor of broadcast media equipment. He then partnered with a pioneer in the emerging digital media industry and made a name for himself as a business innovator and disruptor. He got married and started a family of his own for the first time. His drive, hard work and determination to come to America, to be American, never diminished.
On the left picture is Joshua Schneeloch with his Boyband InColor BMG Label RSC and Author of the upcoming memoir, The Favored Son, How a Black Orphan Conquered Europe on His Way to America
Finally, in 2010, Joshua immigrated to the United States to pursue his dream of becoming an American and finding once and for all his African-American roots. Starting from scratch in a new country in a language he spoke only a little, Joshua explored a range of business ventures and eventually found himself working in one of California’s largest insurance brokerages, owned and operated by a prominent black businessman, Carl Dickerson, where he soared as a business interrupter.
Now in America for over a decade, an American citizen, and CEO of a successful start-up company, Joshua has turned his attention to finding his long-lost black family. This journey of self-discovery of a half-century has brought him closer than ever to meeting his father and his own family and understanding more of who he is.
Recipient of the award for Outstanding Leadership and Innovation at the 2022 Money 2.0 Conference Las Vegas in December 2022.
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