A history professor and political activist at The George Washington University has publicly admitted that she is actually white and Jewish — despite claiming to be Black for years.
Jessica A. Krug — whose areas of expertise include "African American history" and "imperialism and colonialism" — came clean in a self-published essay titled "The Truth, and the Anti-Black Violence of My Lies" on Medium published Thursday. In the confessional piece, Krug said that she has deceived friends and colleagues by falsely claiming several identities like "North African Blackness, then US rooted Blackness, then Caribbean rooted Bronx Blackness" for "the better part of my adult life."
"I am not a culture vulture. I am a culture leech," Krug wrote. "I have thought about ending these lies many times over many years, but my cowardice was always more powerful than my ethics."
Krug continued: "You should absolutely cancel me, and I absolutely cancel myself."
A representative of The George Washington University, located in Washington, D.C., told HuffPost in an email, "We are aware of the post and are looking into the situation. We cannot comment further on personnel matters."
HuffPost reached out to Krug but did not receive an immediate response.
In her essay, Krug said that she's been battling "unaddressed mental health demons" for most of her life and began assuming a false identity as a child.
"But 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," she wrote.
Krug has been teaching classes such as "Topics in African History " and "Africa and the African Diaspora" at the George Washington University since 2012, according to the university's website. She has also written extensively on the subject of Blackness, including two books.
It's unclear why Krug decided to write and publish her essay. Twitter users, who included people claiming to know Krug, have theories — along with reactions to the news.
Many people compared her to Rachel Dolezal, who was exposed as a white woman in 2015 after pretending to be Black while heading an NAACP chapter in Washington State.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.