George Washington University Prof. Jessica Krug Reveals She’s Pretended To Black For Decades
George Washington University is investigating a white professor who pretended to be black for her entire academic career after a Medium essay was posted under her name admitting to being a “culture leech.”
History professor Jessica A. Krug, who specialized in African and Latin American studies, wrote that she was actually white and grew up in the Midwest, though she pretended to have black Caribbean heritage, hailing from the Bronx.
“To an escalating degree over my adult life, I have eschewed my lived experience as a white Jewish child in suburban Kansas City under various assumed identities within a Blackness that I had no right to claim: first North African Blackness, then US rooted Blackness, then Caribbean rooted Bronx Blackness,” the post said. “People have fought together with me and have fought for me, and my continued appropriation of a Black Caribbean identity is not only, in the starkest terms, wrong — unethical, immoral, anti-Black, colonial — but it means that every step I’ve taken has gaslighted those whom I love.”
Krug blamed childhood trauma and mental health issues for her fake identity.
“Mental health issues likely explain why I assumed a false identity initially, as a youth, and why I continued and developed it for so long; the mental health professionals from whom I have been so belatedly seeking help assure me that this is a common response to some of the severe trauma that marked my early childhood and teen years,” she wrote.
A spokesperson for George Washington University, Crystal Nozal, said in a statement, “We are aware of the post and are looking into the situation. We cannot comment further on personnel matters.”
Krug had used her false identity to write about the black and Latina experience living in America for outlets including Essence and RaceBaitr. In 2018, she published a book Fugitive Modernities, which was nominated for the Fredrick Douglass Book Prize and the Harriet Tubman Prize.
In her Essence bio, the professor signs off as a “an unrepentant and unreformed child of the hood.”
RaceBaitr, which is known for publishing articles on race, removed her work and apologized for “platforming” it in a statement.
“Jessica Krug’s words have been removed from our platform and we welcome any other suggestions for better vetting and elevating writers committed to the liberation of Black people,” they said in a tweet.
Keeping Black spaces safe is our highest priority and we failed this time, but we will do better. Jessica Krug’s words have been removed from our platform and we welcome any other suggestions for better vetting and elevating writers committed to the liberation of Black people. pic.twitter.com/jicCVCb24O
— RaceBaitr (@RaceBaitr) September 3, 2020