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Associate Professor Jessica A. Krug has resigned, according to George Washington University, after multiple black identities were invented in a blog post published under her name last week.
The blog post states that Krug is actually a white Midwestern Jewish woman who for years has “assumed identities within a blackness I couldn’t claim: first North African blackness, then US-rooted blackness, then Caribbean-rooted Bronx blackness. “
Krug’s overt inventions were quickly criticized by the academic community. Krug worked in the History Department at GWU, focusing on politics and cultural practices in Africa and the African diaspora. The GWU announced in an email to the university community on Wednesday afternoon that its resignation will take effect immediately.
“Your classes for this semester will be taught by other faculty members, and students on these courses will receive additional information this week,” the university said. It encouraged students, faculties and staff affected by the incident to seek assistance.
“We hope that with this update our community can begin to heal and move forward,” said the GWU statement.
Krug didn’t respond to NPR requests for comments on her resignation or whether she actually wrote the blog post. However, it is worth noting that she has not publicly distanced herself from the post since it was released on September 3.
A day after the post was posted, GWU said Krug will “not be teaching her classes this semester” while reviewing the situation.
The post predicted that her blatant admission would cause pain: “People have fought with me and fought for me, and my continued appropriation of a black Caribbean identity is wrong, not just at worst – unethical, immoral, anti-black, colonial – but it means every step I’ve taken has gas-lit the ones I love. “
“I’m not a culture vulture. I am a culture leech,” said the writer, adding that mental health problems likely contribute to why she assumed a false identity.
Some members of the academic community have asked for more than Krug’s resignation. Yomaira Figueroa, an assistant professor of global diaspora studies at Michigan State University, told NPR last week that Krug has “drawn on and used some of the few – very few – resources and spaces available to Black and Latin American scholars to your advantage. “
“There has to be some form of refund for the things she took. It’s outrageous,” added Figueroa.
Lisa Betty, a PhD student at Fordham University, repeated this call in a blog post. “Krug has taken up space, opportunity, time and money. I want redress.”