GWU professor steps down after lying about being Black

The school's Department of History had called for Jessica Krug, their 'audaciously deceptive' associate-professor colleague, to resign.

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Jessica Krug shocked social media when she released a Medium essay that she, a white, Jewish lady from Kansas City, had been masquerading as a several other ethnicities: North African, an African American woman, someone who also had “Caribbean-rooted Bronx Blackness.” 

Krug was, at the time, an associate history professor at George Washington University specializing in Africa and Latin America. On Wednesday, she left her tenured position. 

George Washington University’s Department of History, in a statement released Sept. 4, had called for Jessica Krug, their “audaciously deceptive” colleague, to resign.

In a statement obtained by CNN, GW University officials said, “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.” 

It continued: “We hope that with this update our community can begin to heal and move forward.”

The school’s Department of History, in the wake of her admission, had called for Krug to quit.

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“With what she has termed her ‘audaciously deceptive’ appropriation of an Afro-Caribbean identity, she has 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,” their Sept. 4 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.”

In her Medium essay, “The Truth, and the Anti-Black Violence of My Lies,” Krug apologized for her “continued appropriation of Black Caribbean identity.” She asserted that she is not a “culture vulture.” She wrote: “I am a culture leech.” 

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Krug’s essay garnered extensive backlash from the Black community. Digital trainer and strategist Leslie Mac opined on Twitter that Krug “wrote that whole article and included LITERALLY ZERO plans to repair the harm she caused – so what was the purpose of the article? Attention & access – just like her pretending to be a Black Woman was.”

In her essay, Krug acknowledged that her deceit was “unethical, immoral, anti-Black, colonial.” She admitted she engaged in gaslighting those closest to her, many of whom were of African and Black descent. She claims mental illness spurred some of her behavior.

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Ironically, Krug was once an active figure on Black Twitter, where she frequently critiqued African Americans, particularly Black women. 

In her apology, she wrote: “I was audaciously deceptive. I have a very clear, loud conscience, but I have acted as if I had none.”

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