US professor Jessica Krug | Twitter | @DukePress
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New Delhi: Jessica Krug, a US academic and professor of African-American history in George Washington University, admitted that she had pretended to be Black for years, despite being a White Jewish woman from Kansas city.

“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,” Krug wrote in a blog post Thursday.

Krug was known as Jessa La Bombalera in activist circles and even wrote a book on transatlantic slave trade called ‘Fugitive Modernities’, for which she reportedly received financial aid from institutions such as the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture — a prominent cultural institution dedicated to preserving information on people of African descent.

In June, she also participated in a public assembly against police brutality in New York City, and constantly referred to herself as Black in her speech.

However, in her post Krug admitted that her entire career was built on a lie.

“I have built my life on a violent anti-Black lie, and I have lied in every breath I have taken,” she wrote.

“I am not a culture vulture. I am a culture leech,” added Krug.

Also read: Two books, TV shows and Trump: The story of how Black rage returned in America

Battle with mental health

In her blog, Krug also talked about her battle with mental health, noting that she has “been battling some unaddressed mental health demons” for her entire life.

However, she noted, “Mental health issues can never, will never, neither explain nor justify, neither condone nor excuse, that, in spite of knowing and regularly critiquing any and every non-Black person who appropriates from Black people, my false identity was crafted entirely from the fabric of Black lives.”

Stating that she believed in “restorative justice” and cancel culture, she further wrote, “I should be cancelled.”

Krug’s case is reminiscent of former activist Rachel Dolezal, another White woman who had pretended to be Black for years.

Dolezal was a prominent civil rights activist and was even the branch president of National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in the US town of Spokane, before she was outed by her White parents in 2015.

Also read: From ‘Cops’ to Oscars, how Black Lives Matter changed the cultural landscape in just a week


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2 Comments Share Your Views


  1. @Subhasis Ghosh…in America, any ‘appearance’ of being black, ‘makes’ you black…going back to slavery and the ‘one drop rule’ … just dummying it down for you but it’s complicated … your statement is ignorant to the nth degree …. interesting when folks who appear to come from the world’s worst example of a caste system makes these comments.

  2. There are obvious advantages in certain jobs and certain political and social circles to be a Black in US. Otherwise why will Kamala Harris, raised by her Indian mother, eschew her Indian background and opt for the Black one of her father?


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