The white professor of African American studies who faked being black, deceiving colleagues and students for years, will not teaching at George Washington University this semester, the school announced Friday.
The university’s history department said it was ‘shocked and appalled’ to learn that 38-year-old Jessica Krug was a race faker when she revealed her true identity in a Medium post earlier this week.
An update from the university said they were continuing to investigate Krug’s revelation as calls mount for her to be fired.
It comes as a Bronx activist claimed that Krug also said she was a Puerto Rican from the South Bronx and attempted to establish herself under that persona, adding another layer to her deception.
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 colleagues
The university’s history department said it was ‘shocked and appalled’ to learn that 38-year-old Jessica Krug was a race faker when she revealed her true identity in a Medium post. She is pictured here in her yearbook before she passed herself off as a black professor
Despite the university’s decision to not allow Krug to teach in the Fall, her colleagues are still pushing for her time at the school to be put to a permanent end.
‘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,’ the university’s history department said in a joint statement.
‘The discipline of history is concerned with truth telling about the past,’ the statement continued.
‘With her conduct, Dr. Krug has raised questions about the veracity of her own research and teaching.’
The department then recommended that she resign or that her tenure be rescinded and her appointment terminated.
The university has not yet hinted if they will fire Krug.
While announcing that she would not be teaching on Friday, they said that they would be communicating with affected students in her introductory-level history class and advanced courses on African studies.
‘We are working on developing a number of options for students in those classes, which will be communicated to affected students as soon as possible,’ said the statement, which was signed by M. Brian Blake, the provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs, and Paul Wahlbeck, the dean of the school’s Columbian College of Arts and Sciences.
‘We want to acknowledge the pain this situation has caused for many in our community and recognize that many students, faculty, staff and alumni are hurting,’ they added.
The statement was condemned by some who feel that the university should be acting faster.
George Washington University announced Friday that Krug would not be teaching this Fall
The university said that it is still investigating the revelation
However, the history department has called on Krug to be fired or resign
‘In my “Afro Latinx History” class, Jessica Krug discussed dynamics of white scholars engaging in black studies,’ wrote Lena Haime on Twitter.
‘She really had the audacity pull up an image of the white woman who won an award over her, illustrating how black scholars are often overlooked in the academy. LOL.’
‘Basically she’s not fired… at least not for now,’ added tech entrepreneur Rebecca Enonchong.
‘Another day, another WEAK A** pathetic response from this university,’ @shoobyjr tweeted.
The criticism comes as a whole other aspect of Krug’s deception is revealed.
According to the New York Post, the bogus black college professor also previously tried to pass herself off as a Puerto Rican from the South Bronx.
Blogger and photojournalist Ed Garcia Conde told the Post that she claimed to be a black Puerto Rican who had grown up there, instead of the white, Jewish middle-class woman from Kansas City she really was.
She even tried to pass herself off as a salsa instructor but it was her dancing that caught her out.
The university’s slow response faced some criticism online
Some accused the university of a ‘weak’ response instead of firing Krug
‘It was mediocre at best, but she was talking about how great she was,’ he said. ‘She was showing off her moves, and I’m trying to be nice.
‘She said she was Puerto Rican and from The Bronx — she said she had roots in The Bronx and taught salsa,’ Garcia Conde added.
‘She was adamant of that. I can’t dance salsa, but I know salsa when I see it.
‘And not that this wasn’t salsa, but she did not dance like a salsa teacher … I was thinking, “No, I can’t see it”. ‘
He said that Krug joined him at a meet up with some other friends but that the dance session became ‘my two hours of hell’ because of how terrible she was.
He claims she rocked up to the group wearing short shorts and a sleeveless black tank top with Puerto Rican flag on it.
Garcia Conde said the only thing worse than Krug’s dancing as her preaching.
‘She came across to me as someone who was uber-militant about her activism — whether it was anti-racism or anti-gentrification,’ he claimed.
‘She was questioning anyone who she thought was not as militant as her.
‘She stole food from people’s mouths as someone who pretended to be one of us … I hope she gets the therapy she needs, but the issue for me is the victims in her wake,’ he added.
Krug seen speaking at the Embassy of Haiti in Washington, DC on a panel discussion titled, ‘Columbus 525: An Exploration of Christopher Columbus’s Impact on the Atlantic World’
Krug’s students have also spoken out on the extent of the deception in her classroom
On Friday, it emerged that Krug’s family suspect she skipped her own mother’s funeral so relatives wouldn’t rumble her black alter ego.
The George Washington University professor was a surprise no-show when her loved ones gathered to pay respects to Sherry Krug, who succumbed to pneumonia in 2013.
After learning this week of her astonishing false persona they now wonder if Krug cruelly snubbed her 65-year-old mom because she was worried about being ‘caught out’.
‘It was a terrible thing to do. She didn’t even offer any sort of excuse,’ said a family friend. ‘And maybe we now know why. I’m not aware of anyone in the family having had any contact with her ever since.’
Krug grew up in a ‘typical, loving middle-class’ Jewish family in Kansas City, Missouri, where her mom and father Stuart Krug ran a grocery store, according to the friend.
She stood out as an extremely intelligent child and was developing a deep passion for politics and civil rights by the time she reached high school.
‘She was always extremely smart. She was interested from a young age in racial justice and equality, she had a passion for helping the downtrodden. You knew she would go far,’ the friend went on.
‘As for the rest of the family, I would say they were moderates. I would not say there was any racism in the family at all.
Sherry Krug died in 2013 in New York
‘If anything they went the other way, because when you’re Jewish, you have to face anti-Semitism, you’re used to sometimes being the odd person out.’
Krug’s parents split during her childhood and her father settled in Las Vegas where he died in 2017, aged 69. Her mom’s side of the family did not attend the funeral and do not know if Krug showed up.
Sherry spent her final years living in Albany, New York where she died in October 2013. The family friend said Krug didn’t go to see her ailing mother in the hospital before she passed.
He said her family remained proud of her academic achievements but were saddened by her lack of contact.
And they had absolutely no idea that Krug was passing herself off as black until they were contacted this week by news media.
‘She was blonde the last time I saw her. And as for her voice, well that’s interesting. I don’t know if she’s acting but the voice she has now is not one I’ve heard before,’ he said.
‘I think what a lot of people are looking for here is some kind of trigger to explain all this. But you have to understand we have no clue.
‘When she made the decision many years ago to just go off and be on her own and to not connect with those behind her, that was a decision on her part, not on anybody else’s.’
The friend said family members were now worried what could happen to Krug given the race reckoning sparking protests and chaos across the US.
‘There’s no shortage of stupid and crazy out there and I do worry for her safety,’ he added. ‘If she wanted to reach out to us, to come home, we would never say no.’
The saddest part of Krug’s astonishing admission is her fall from grace from academic ‘superstar’ to racial pariah, he told DailyMail.com.
‘She got a PhD, she wrote books. She was extremely hard working and gifted. She did all that all by herself.
‘I just cannot understand how anyone in this day and age could expect to get away with this. Everyone walks around with a camera, everyone has access to the internet.’
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
Despite assuming various black identities over the years, Krug revealed in a Medium blog post on Thursday she is actually white and that she has been deceiving her friends and colleagues.
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.
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
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.
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.’