A college professor in the United States admitted to lying about being black and said she is in fact a Jewish woman from Kansas City.
Jessica Krug, an associate professor at George Washington University, made the admission in an article published Thursday on Medium, writing that her career was based on a “toxic soil of lies.”
“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,” she said.
Krug said lying about her identity was “the very epitome of violence, of thievery and appropriation, of the myriad ways in which non-Black people continue to use and abuse Black identities and cultures.” She also linked it to mental health issues from when she was young.
“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 said.
In the Medium post, Krug also referred to herself as a “culture leech” and a “coward” for not coming forward sooner.
“I have built my life on a violent anti-Black lie, and I have lied in every breath I have taken,” she said. “There are no words in any language to express the depth of my remorse, but then again: there shouldn’t be. Words are never the point.”
According to her bio on the George Washington University website, among Krug’s areas of expertise are Africa, Latin America and African American History. She has written two books, including “Fugitive Modernities.”
“My ancestors, unknown, unnamed, who bled life into a future they had no reason to believe could or should exist. My brother, the fastest, the smartest, the most charming of us all. Those whose names I cannot say for their own safety, whether in my barrio, in Angola, or in Brazil,” she wrote in the introduction.
Krug also reportedly used the name Jess La Bombalera in activist circles.
A student who took a class with Krug in 2019 said she was “shocked” the professor lied.
“It was the last thing on my mind to think she was lying. I would think I had the details confused,” Anmol Goraya told CNN.
George Washington University said it was aware of Krug’s post but wouldn’t further comment.
We are aware of the post by Jessica Krug and are looking into the situation. We cannot comment further on personnel matters.
— GW University (@GWtweets) September 3, 2020
Krug’s admission was similar to that of Rachel Dolezal, who in 2015 stepped down as the head of a local NAACP chapter after her parents said she had been posing as Black for years but was actually white.