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Professor Admits Pretending to Be Black

Jessica Krug of George Washington University calls herself a 'culture leech'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 4, 2020 4:53 AM CDT
Updated Sep 4, 2020 6:42 AM CDT

(Newser) – A George Washington University professor has been dubbed "Rachel Dolezal 2" after admitting that she has spent her entire career pretending to be Black. In a Medium post, Jessica Krug, a professor of African American history, said her adult life has been "rooted in the napalm toxic soil of lies," the Guardian reports. "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," she wrote. She called herself a "culture leech" and said her "unaddressed mental health demons" do not excuse her "unethical, immoral, anti-Black, colonial" appropriation of a Black identity.

Krug, who received financial support from institutions including the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, used the name "Jessa Bombalera" and spoke at a New York City hearing on police brutality in June. Screenwriter Hari Ziyad said Thursday that Krug, "someone I called a friend up until this morning," confessed to the deception not out of "benevolence," but "because she had been found out," the BBC reports. George Washington University junior Anmol Goraya tells CNN that she never doubted Krug's identity as a proud and outspoken woman of color, although she did at various times claim to be from different places in the Caribbean. "From the moment she came into the classroom, I was in awe of her," Goraya says. "And I'm just shocked that it was such a complete lie." (Read more George Washington University stories.)

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