White college professor exposed by blogger for posing as ‘Chicana,’ resigns
Furman College assistant professor Kelly Kean Sharp, who taught African studies, resigns after an anonymous blog revealed she was posing as Mexican
A Furman College assistant professor of African studies has resigned after being outed for lying about her falsely claimed Mexican heritage.
An anonymous writer who penned a Medium blog post this week exposed Kelly Kean Sharp as a “non-Hispanic white” woman who, for “strategic” purposes, had posed as a Chicana — a term to describe an American woman or girl of Mexican descent.
The post was on a page called “Producing Whiteness” with the title, “Kelly Kean Sharp: Chicana?”
Apparently, the anonymous blogger had known Sharp from a distance while she was attending the University of California, Davis as a Ph.D. student. The writer had been shocked to see that Sharp had posted that she was Chicana on her Twitter profile after a friend showed brought it to her attention.
The writer claimed she asked people closer to Sharp’s circle from school who informed her they never knew her to be anything but a white woman.
As reported by Greenville News, Sharp had been hired by Furman on Aug. 1, and prior to that, she had taught at Iowa’s Luther College as a professor of African studies and history, according to Furman spokesman Tom Evelyn.
It was Evelyn who confirmed her resignation after an investigation commenced following the blog post’s publishing. “All I can say is that we are disappointed to have learned of these allegations,” Evelyn said. “We expect members of our community to be honest in the way they represent themselves to others.”
Sharp’s exposure is the latest example of white female college professors posing as a person of color to get into circles they otherwise would not. In 2015, former professor Rachel Dolezal resigned as president of the Spokane, Washington chapter of the NAACP after she was revealed to be a white woman.
In September, Jessica Krug, a college professor of African studies at George Washington University, posted a Medium blog to confess that she was posing as a Black woman and had been doing so for most of her adult life.
Have you subscribed to theGrio’s podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!
TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Roku. Download theGrio today!