The white George Washington University associate professor who has admitted to pretending to be black her entire career allegedly only outed herself after other scholars started questioning her background last week.
Despite assuming various black identities over the years, Jessica Krug revealed in a Medium blog post on Thursday she is actually white and that she has been deceiving her friends and colleagues.
George Washington University said it is currently investigating the blog post but refused to comment any further.
‘We are aware of the post and are looking into the situation. We cannot comment further on personnel matters,’ a spokesperson for the university said.
As details of the 38-year-old’s deception continue to emerge, it has been claimed that Krug only came clean after realizing that several scholars had started questioning her background.
Despite assuming various black identities over the years, Jessica Krug revealed in a Medium blog post on Thursday she is actually white and that she has been deceiving her friends and colleagues
It has been claimed that Krug only came clean after realizing that several scholars had started questioning her background. Yomaira Figueroa, who is an associate professor of global diaspora studies at Michigan State University, claims a young black scholar approached two senior scholars on August 26 with allegations that Krug was lying about her identity
Yomaira Figueroa, who is an associate professor of global diaspora studies at Michigan State University, claims a young black scholar approached two senior scholars on August 26 with allegations that Krug was lying about her identity.
Figueroa, who does not know Krug personally, would not identify the scholars.
Figueroa said the allegations came up during a discussion about that late novelist H.G. Carrillo. It emerged after his death in April that he was not a black Latino from Cuba like he had claimed but, instead, was an African American from Detroit
In an interview with the New York Times, Figueroa said the allegations came up during a discussion about that late novelist H.G. Carrillo.
Carrillo’s sister revealed after he died in April that he was not a black Latino, who fled Cuba with his family as a child, like he had claimed his entire life.
His sister said he was an African-American born and raised in Detroit, Michigan.
Figueroa said the junior scholar came forward with claims that Krug had also been lying about her identity.
In a series of tweets, Figueroa said there was no ‘witch hunt’ but claimed Krug published the blog post in an attempt to control the situation.
‘The only reason Jessica Krug finally admitted to this lie is (because) 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 other senior scholars & institutions with proof.
‘There was no witch hunt, but there was a need to draw the line. Krug got ahead of the story because she was caught & she knew the clock was ticking bec folks started to confront her & ask questions.
Krug, who lives in East Harlem, New York and has previously described her as an ‘unrepentant and unreformed child of the hood’, went to the exclusive Barstow school in Kansas City where she was said to have identified as a white, Jewish girl. She is pictured in her yearbook
Krug has been teaching classes on African history at GWU since 2012. She is pictured above during a panel discussion last year on African studies at Columbia University
‘DO NOT BELIEVE FOR ONE SECOND that she would have come out with the truth on her own. She made a living & a whole life out of parroting Black Rican trauma and survival.’
Figueroa told Inside Higher Ed that Krug was a respected historian and couldn’t understand the need to lie about her background.
‘I do know that she’s a very well-respected scholar who has done really incredible work, so this is not an issue about her not being a talented academic or good at her job,’ Figueroa said in the interview.
‘But she did it all in this guise, building on the worst types of stereotypes, calling herself a hood academic, taking on accents and talking about specific kinds of trauma.’
It has since emerged that Krug, who lives in East Harlem, New York and has previously described her as an ‘unrepentant and unreformed child of the hood’, went to the exclusive Barstow school in Kansas City where she was said to have identified as a white, Jewish girl.
One of Krug’s former peers, who did not want to be named, said Krug was ‘very political’, boycotted prom and planned a flag burning while at the school from where she graduated in 1999.
Her current neighbor, Anna Anderson, told the DailyMail.com that Krug would call her ‘white trash’ and tell Anderson she was ‘gentrifying’ the neighborhood by going running.
Following a dispute over their bikes Anderson said Krug asked her: ‘Do you know what the police do to black people like me?’
Anderson told DailyMail.com: ‘She called me white trash, which is ironic.’
In a video posted online under her activist pseudonym, Jessica La Bombalera, Krug denounces ‘all these white New Yorkers who waited four hours with us to be able to speak and then did not yield their time for Black and Brown indigenous New Yorkers’
In a video posted online in June of this year under her activist pseudonym, Jessica La Bombalera, Krug denounced ‘all these white New Yorkers who waited four hours with us to be able to speak and then did not yield their time for Black and Brown indigenous New Yorkers’.
She adds: ‘Much power to all my siblings who were standing up, my black and brown siblings who were standing.’
Krug has been teaching classes on African American history at George Washington University since 2012.
Her biography page on the university website says she also specializes in subjects including Latin America, Africa, imperialism and colonialism.
She has a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, according to the GWU page.
Krug has also written several books and essays on blackness and black culture. Some of the outlets who have published her work started deleting the posts on Thursday after the revelations.
She has taken financial support from the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, The Guardian reports. In 2009 she is understood to have been award as Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship.
Her book Fugitive Modernities includes the acknowledgement: ‘My ancestors, unknown, unnamed, who bled life into a future they had no reason to believe could or should exist…Those whose names I cannot say for their own safety, whether in my barrio, in Angola, or in Brazil.’
In her blog post titled ‘The Truth, and the Anti-Black Violence of My Lies’, Krug wrote: ‘For the better part of my adult life, every move I’ve made, every relationship I’ve formed, has been rooted in the napalm toxic soil of lies.’
Krug has been teaching classes on African American history at George Washington University since 2012. George Washington University said it is currently investigating the blog post but refused to comment any further
‘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.
‘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. There is no ignorance, no innocence, nothing to claim, nothing to defend. I have moved wrong in every way for years.
Her scathing online confession is reminiscent of the scandal involving Rachel Dolezal – a former NAACP leader in Washington state who was exposed in 2015 as a white woman pretending to be black
‘You should absolutely cancel me, and I absolutely cancel myself.
‘I have built my life on a violent anti-Black lie, and I have lied in every breath I have taken.
‘I have not lived a double life. There is no parallel form of my adulthood connected to white people or a white community or an alternative white identity. I have lived this lie, fully, completely, with no exit plan or strategy. I have built only this life, a life within which I have operated with a radical sense of ethics, of right and wrong, and with rage, rooted in Black power, an ideology which every person should support, but to which I have no possible claim as my own.’
She acknowledged that it would be unlikely she could repair any relationship she has made given the extent of her lies.
‘I have burned every bridge and have no expectation that any of my relationships are flame resistant. I would never ask for nor expect forgiveness.
‘To everyone who trusted me, who fought for me, who vouched for me, who loved me, who is feeling shock and betrayal and rage and bone marrow deep hurt and confusion, violation in this world and beyond: I beg you, please, do not question your own judgment or doubt yourself. You were not naive. I was audaciously deceptive.
‘I have a very clear, loud conscience, but I have acted as if I had none. I gaslit you. I begged for your compassion and love for my isolation and loneliness – real and raw feelings, but borne of the avalanche of deceit.
In her blog post, Krug said she has battled ‘unaddressed mental health demons’ her entire life and that she first assumed a false identity as a child.
She wrote that her mental health issues could never explain or justify why she pretended to be black.
Hari Ziyad, a black author and screenwriter, claimed that she had only penned the post because she had been ‘found out’
Krug has also written several books and essays on blackness and black culture. Some of the outlets who have published her work started deleting the posts on Thursday after the revelations
‘When I was a teenager fleeing trauma, I could just run away to a new place and become a new person. But this isn’t trauma that anyone imposed on me, this is harm that I have enacted onto so many others. There is nowhere to run. I have ended the life I had no right to live in the first place,’ she said.
‘No white person, no non-Black person, has the right to claim proximity to or belonging in a Black community by virtue of abuse, trauma, non-acceptance, and non-belonging in a white community. The abuse within and alienation from my birth family and society are no one’s burden but my own, and mine alone to address.
‘Black people and Black communities have no obligation to harbor the refuse of non-Black societies. I have done this. I know it is wrong and I have done this anyway.’
Following the revelations in her post, Krug has since been slammed on Twitter by several black writers and scholars who she had contact with throughout her career.
Hari Ziyad, a black author and screenwriter, claimed that she had only penned the post because she had been ‘found out’.
In a series of scathing tweets, Ziyad said he considered Krug to be a friend until she called him a few hours prior to the Medium post being published to confess.
‘Jess Krug… is someone I called a friend up until this morning when she gave me a call admitting to everything written here. She didn’t do it out of benevolence. She did it because she had been found out,’ Ziyad tweeted.
‘For years I defended her work, and her from her own self-loathing. I did it despite warnings from Black friends, from those who said she wasn’t Black enough even if they could accept that she was Black, and from my own mind and body.
‘I always knew there was something off. It was in her persistent negativity and jealousy, her always needing to prove her authenticity at the expense of everything else.
‘I kept her at arm’s length, but still close enough that she could harm Black people around me. I owe so many people apologies.’