Professor who pretended to be black 'missed mum's funeral to avoid being caught'
A college professor who pretended to be black for her entire career may have skipped her own mother’s funeral to avoid being ‘caught out’, a family friend has claimed.
Jessica Krug, 38, didn’t attend the service when her mum, Sherry Krug, died from pneumonia in 2013, Mail Online reports.
The family didn’t understand why at the time but, after Krug admitted in a blog post this week that she’s been falsely assuming black identities, they are now speculating that she was worried about the truth coming out.
The friend said: ’It was a terrible thing to do. She didn’t even offer any sort of excuse. And maybe we now know why. I’m not aware of anyone in the family having had any contact with her ever since.’
It comes as George Washington University (GWU), where Krug works as an associate professor focusing on Africa and the African diaspora, confirmed she wouldn’t be teaching her classes this semester.
On Thursday Krug admitted in a blog posted on the website Medium that she is in fact a white Jewish woman from suburban Kansas City.
She said she has lived most of her adult life ‘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’.
Krug has been teaching classes on African American history at GWU since 2012 and has also written several books and essays on blackness and black culture.
She expressed deep remorse, calling the deception ‘the very epitome of violence, of thievery and appropriation’.
She blamed ‘unaddressed mental health demons’ dating back to childhood and says she frequently thought of confessing to the lie, ‘but my cowardice was always more powerful than my ethics’.
The family friend told the Mail that ‘they had absolutely no idea’ that Krug was passing herself off as black until they were contacted this week by journalists.
He said: ‘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.
‘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.’
He added that the family is now fearful about Krug’s safety, given the anger her admissions have sparked, and has invited her to come home.
After the revelations came out, colleagues in the department of history at GWU released a joint statement calling for Krug to resign from her post.
In an update for students, the university said Krug would not be teaching her classes while the situation is reviewed.
A statement said: ‘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.’
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