When it comes to your identity you have free range to define yourself how you see fit, as long as you’re being honest. A few years ago Rachel Dolezal left the nation confused as she held strong to the idea of being “Transracial” with efforts to prove that she could call herself Black since that’s how she felt. Well Jessica Krug is no Rachel Dolezal but she’s been living in a similar facade for decades. In a Medium Post by Krug herself she comes clean about the lie she’s been living and the way it’s affected the community that took her in under false pretenses.
Jessica Krug has been a professor of African American History at George Washington University for some years, while also finding time to be a very involved community activist. You’ve probably seen viral videos of her speaking at protests.(twitter link) Krug has even written a book on fugitive resistance to the Transatlantic Slave Trade, Fugitive Modernities, and received financial support from the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture for said book. This woman has ingrained herself in the culture and was reaping benefits that some Black people will never be able to touch.
In her slightly tell-all blog post, Krug did acknowledge how unethical and immoral her actions are while attempting not to excuse them. Admitting that she has been gaslighting the people around her who have entrusted her with not only leadership responsibilities, but also their stories.
“I am not a Culture Vulture, I’m a Culture Leech”
Similar to Dolezal, Krug exposed that she does have a past with Mental Illnesses as well as a traumatic childhood that caused her to flee and change her identity.
In the post, Krug drives the point that neither her childhood nor her mental illness can be used as an excuse as to why she lived the lie that she did for so many years; then why mention it? It’s as though she knows that society will take that as her reasoning, even if she says otherwise. The trauma, as sad as it may be, does not excuse the fraud and pain she has caused the same community she’s been fighting and protesting for. Being Black shouldn’t be seen as a shield to use. There is no free trial in Blackness, especially not in a time where real Black people are losing their lives while fighting for their rights. With a belief in accountability, Krug has rightfully cancelled herself, and encourages the public to do the same.