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Jessica Krug resigns from teaching position at George Washington University

An essay published last week on Medium claimed Krug was a white Jewish woman from Kansas City who pretended to be Black.

A George Washington University professor resigned from her position after a blog post was published last week claiming she has pretended to be Black.

Jessica Krug, who had been placed on suspension, resigned her position effectively immediately, according to an email from GW’s Provost M. Brian Blake obtained by NBC News on Wednesday. An essay posted to Medium, purportedly written by Krug, claimed she had “assumed identities within a Blackness that I had no right to claim.”

Jessica Krug participates in a panel at the Embassy of Haiti in Washington DC on Dec. 5, 2017.
Jessica Krug participates in a panel at the Embassy of Haiti in Washington DC on Dec. 5, 2017.Samira Rashid

Krug is instead white and grew up Jewish in suburban Kansas City, according to the Medium essay.

“Dr. Krug has resigned her position, effective immediately,” the email said Wednesday. “Her classes for this semester will be taught by other faculty members, and students in those courses will receive additional information this week.”

The university was also offering counseling services for students who may have been affected by the situation, the email from the provost and Columbian College of Arts and Sciences Dean Paul Wahlbeck stated.

Krug taught in the school’s history department, with an expertise in Africa, Latin America and African American history, NBC News reported Friday after she was suspended. NBC News also emailed Krug to confirm she wrote the Medium essay, but she did not respond.

The essay said Krug assumed identities of North African, U.S., and Carribean Blackness in what was the “epitome of violence, of thievery and appropriation.”

“People have fought together with me and have fought for me, and my continued appropriation of a Black Caribbean identity is not only, in the starkest terms, wrong — unethical, immoral, anti-Black, colonial — but it means that every step I’ve taken has gaslighted those whom I love,” the essay said.

The author goes on to state that she had been dealing with “unaddressed mental health demons,” but that mental health was not an excuse for her assumption of identities that were not hers to hold.

“I am a coward,” the author wrote. “There is no ignorance, no innocence, nothing to claim, nothing to defend. I have moved wrong in every way for years.”