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White Professor Resigns After Admitting She Fabricated Her Racial Identity

Jessica Krug revealed in a recent blog post that she had lied about having Black and Latin heritage and that she is actually white and Jewish.

Jessica A. Krug | George Washington University Department of History Columbian College of Arts and Sciences
Jessica A. Krug | George Washington University Department of History Columbian College of Arts and Sciences

Jessica A. Krug, the George Washington University history professor who revealed earlier this month that she fabricated her racial identity, has resigned from her job. 

In a Wednesday tweet, the university announced Krug’s resignation, adding that other faculty members will teach her classes for the semester.

The announcement followed an earlier update from the university that Krug would not be teaching her classes this semester. History department faculty members also released a joint statement, expressing their shock at Krug’s admission and calling for her to resign. 

As an associate professor at the university, Krug taught politics, ideas, and cultural practices in Africa and the African Diaspora. She has also written two books and many critical pieces regarding race, slavery, hip-hop, politics, and cultural history in the Dominican Republic and Jamaica.

In a post published September 3 on Medium, Krug revealed that she had for years  fabricated her Black and Latin heritage. The post drew widespread backlash.

“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,” Krug wrote in the post.

In the piece, Krug attributed her taking on a false identity to mental health issues, called herself a “coward” and a “culture leech,” and said she thought many times about coming clean, but “my cowardice was always more powerful than my ethics.” She also said she should be “cancelled,” and that “there are no words in any language to express the depth of my remorse.”

“I don’t know how to fix this. I am attempting to lay out a timeline of my deceit to better understand all whom I have violated and how, and to begin to imagine how to restore, to address, to redress… But I can’t fix this,” she wrote. 

Krug’s fabricated identity has drawn comparisons to that of Rachel Dolezal, the former president of the NAACP’s Spokane, WA chapter, whose parents revealed in 2015 that she had been “disguising herself” as Black for many years.