Jessica Krug, the very, very white scholar who pretended to be very, very Black to get ahead in academia, has finally been denounced by her publisher Duke University Press. That means that proceeds from her 2018 book Fugitive Modernities, published by the press, will go to a fund supporting the work of scholars who are actually Black and Latinx.
“There is the personal pain of having someone impersonate your own identity in the most racist way possible, through caricatures and stereotypes,” Duke University Press editorial director Gisela Fosado said in a statement. “There’s also the shameful sense that, as someone who labored to support her work as her acquisition editor, I helped publish the work of someone who, early in her career, took funding and other opportunities that were earmarked for non-white scholars.” Not only did Duke University Press publish Krug’s book Fugitive Modernities, it was also shortlisted for the Harriet Tubman and the Frederick Douglass book prizes, two of the most coveted awards for scholarship on slavery, The Guardian reports. But even with all that praise it apparently didn’t make much cash! “The truth is that the book, like many monographic scholarly works, did not generate a profit—its expenses were more than its revenues,” Fosado wrote.
Krug, a white woman from Kansas, revealed in a viral Medium post this September that for years she had been posing as a Bronx-born Afro-Latina while working as a scholar in Africana studies and publishing at outlets like Essence. After publishing the post, she resigned from her job as an associate history professor at George Washington University. “For the better part of my adult life,” Krug wrote in her post, “every move I’ve made, every relationship I’ve formed, has been rooted in the napalm toxic soil of lies.”