White professor who said she pretended to be Black won’t be teaching this fall, university says


The White university professor who admitted Thursday to falsely claiming she was Black throughout her adult life will not be teaching classes in the fall, George Washington University said in a statement Friday. Jessica Krug said in a Medium post that she is White and Jewish, but claimed she “built her life on a violent anti-Black lie.” 

“Many of you understandably have many questions in the wake of the Medium post by GW faculty member Jessica Krug,” the school said. “While the university reviews this situation, Dr. Krug will not be teaching her classes this semester.” 

Krug has taught classes including “Topics in African History,” “Africans in the Making of the Atlantic World” and “Africa and the African Diaspora: (Trans)Nationalisms and the Politics of Modernity,” according to her page on the university’s website. 

In her Medium post, Krug wrote that “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.” 

“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,” she said. 

Krug said “unaddressed mental health demons” likely contributed to her initial decision to assume a Black identity — but she stressed that those issues don’t excuse appropriating from the Black community. 

Krug also said she believes she should be “canceled,” although she admitted she doesn’t know what form that should take. 

“I have no identity outside of this. I have never developed one,” she said. “I have to figure out how to be a person that I don’t believe should exist, and how, as that person, to even begin to heal any of the harm that I’ve caused.” 

Krug did not specify in her post if she intended to keep teaching at the university. 

Sophie Lewis contributed reporting. 

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