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Jessica Krug: Professor at George Washington University resigns



Jessica Krug poses with her book Fugitive Modernities in 2019Image rights
Duke University Press

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Jessica Krug̵

7;s work focuses on Africa and the African diaspora

A US scientist who was investigated after admitting that she lied about her blackness has resigned, George Washington University has confirmed.

Jessica Krug, an associate professor whose work focuses on Africa and the African diaspora, admitted in a blog post last week that she was, in fact, a “white Jewish” woman from Kansas City.

The entry read: “I built my life on a violent anti-black lie.”

Her colleagues said they were “shocked and appalled” by her admission.

In a Medium post published last Thursday, Ms. Krug said she falsely assumed identities “which I had no right to claim: first North African blackness, then US rooted blackness, then Caribbean rooted Bronx blackness”.

  • The white US professor says she lied because she was black
  • Rachel Dolezal: “I identify as black”

In a tweet on Wednesday, George Washington University said Ms. Krug had “resigned from her position with immediate effect.”

“Your classes for this semester will be taught by other faculty members, and students on these courses will receive additional information this week,” she added.

She did not comment.

What did she say in her post?

Ms. Krug described her behavior as “the epitome of violence, theft and appropriation, the myriad of ways non-blacks continue to use and abuse black identities and cultures”.

She added that she continued the claim in her personal relationships as well. She cited mental health problems and trauma she experienced in her early years, although she said it was not an excuse for her actions.

According to media reports, Ms. Krug also used the name Jessica La Bombalera as an activist. In a video released earlier this year, she berated white New Yorkers for failing to “give their time to indigenous black and brown New Yorkers.”

Ms. Krug’s academic work includes the 2018 book Fugitive Modernities: Kisama and the Politics of Freedom, which focuses on the politics and culture of African and African diaspora societies.

Her case has strong parallels with racial activist Rachel Dolezal, a white woman who claimed to be black. After her parents left her in 2015, she said she “identified as black”.

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On Friday, after the publication of her blog post, Ms. Krug’s colleagues from the GWU Department of History released a joint statement calling on her to step down from her post or the university to terminate her term of office.

The university then said Ms. Krug would not give classes and paid tribute to “many students, faculties, staff and alumni [were] hurt “.


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