Update (September 10, 2020): After revealing that she had spent years lying about being Black as well as other races and ethnicities, George Washington University professor Jessica Krug has officially resigned, according to the school.
In a Twitter post on Wednesday, the university wrote that Krug has resigned from her position, effective immediately.
“Her classes for this semester will be taught by other faculty members, and students in those courses will receive additional information this week,” the university said on Twitter.
Update regarding Jessica Krug: Dr. Krug has resigned her position, effective immediately. Her classes for this semester will be taught by other faculty members, and students in those courses will receive additional information this week.
— GW University (@GWtweets) September 9, 2020
After Krug wrote a Medium post admitting to lying about her race, the school demanded her resignation in a statement on September 4, writing that she had “betrayed the trust of countless current and former students, fellow scholars of Africana Studies, colleagues in our department and throughout the historical discipline, as well as community activists in New York City and beyond.”
“The members of the faculty of The George Washington University Department of History are shocked and appalled by Dr. Jessica Krug’s admission on September 3, 2020 that she has lied about her identity for her entire career,” the statement read.
“The discipline of history is concerned with truth telling about the past. With her conduct, Dr. Krug has raised questions about the veracity of her own research and teaching. Accordingly, the department calls upon Dr. Krug to resign from her position as associate professor of History at GW. Failing that, the department recommends the rescinding of her tenure and the termination of her appointment,” the school added.
Krug followed through with the recommendation, and in an email to the school’s students and faculty obtained by the New York Times, executive vice president for academic affairs Brian Blake and dean of the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences Paul Wahlbeck explained what will happen next.
They said Krug had already been removed from teaching classes and told students to seek out support from campus resources if they needed to.
Last year, Krug’s book Fugitive Modernities was a finalist for both the Harriet Tubman Prize and the Frederick Douglass Book Prize.
Original (September 3, 2020): A George Washington University associate professor and writer has admitted to falsely claiming several Black identities, despite being white.
In a post published on Medium on Thursday, Jessica Krug said for the "better part of [her] adult life" she has publicly claimed the identities of North African, Black American and Caribbean as her "own."
Weird story of the day: Jessica Krug, a white woman from Kansas, has been pretending to be Black for her entire professional career, and now she’s apologizing for it:
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) September 3, 2020
In the post titled "The Truth, and the Anti-Black Violence of My Lies" Krug, also Jewish, detailed her myriad ways of purposely and intentionally abusing Black culture.
“I am not a culture vulture. I am a culture leech,” Krug wrote. “I have thought about ending these lies many times over many years, but my cowardice was always more powerful than my ethics. I know right from wrong. I know history. I know power. I am a coward.”
The Kansas City native cited "unaddressed mental health demons for my entire life" as reasoning for appropriating various cultures that she often used while forming relationships within her community.
“But mental health issues can never, will never, neither explain nor justify, neither condone nor excuse, that, in spite of knowing and regularly critiquing any and every non-Black person who appropriates from Black people, my false identity was crafted entirely from the fabric of Black lives,” she said.
Krug's biography on the college's website lists her as an "historian of politics, ideas and cultural practices in Africa and the African Diaspora, with a particular interest in West Central Africa and maroon societies in the early modern period and Black transnational cultural studies."
According to the website she has expertise in Africa, Latin America and African American history.
She has written books on the topic of Black culture while receiving awards named after Harriet Tubman and Fredrick Douglass, according to The Washington Post.
In the post, the associate professor urges people to "cancel" her, while acknowledging her lack of understanding for cancel culture amid a lack of belonging to a community that she spent years falsely claiming.
A Twitter user recovered an author biography for Krug that cites her as being an "unreformed child of the hood."
jessica krug's old author bio is, uh, something else pic.twitter.com/YMKW8eHiI0
— graham starr (@GrahamStarr) September 3, 2020
Another Twitter user said the associate professor's post was a way to get ahead of being exposed by a group of scholars.
The only reason Jessica Krug finally admitted to this lie is bec on Aug 26th one very brave very BLACK Latina junior scholar approached two senior Black Latina scholars & trusted them enough to do the research & back her up. Those two scholars made phone calls & reached out to…
— Dr. YoFiggy (@DrYoFiggy) September 3, 2020
Krug's culture appropriation has led to comparisons to Rachel Dolezal, another white woman who claimed to be "transracial" and was the former president of the NAACP chapter in Spokane, Washington.
“Wait. Rachel Dolezal has a sister named Jessica Krug? How many more of these people are out there other than Talcum X?” author Roxane Gay tweeted.
Dolezal has claimed a Black identity despite her parents refuting those claims and has even changed her name to Nkechi Amare Diallo, as Blavity previously reported. The name Nkechi is short for Nkechinyere which originates from the Igbo language of Nigeria and means "what God has given" or "gift of God." Diallo is a part of the Fula language and means "bold."