A top professor has admitted lying about her race for years by pretending to be black.
Jessica Krug, 38, revealed in a bombshell message that she is white and had deceived friends and colleagues.
The US academic had previously claimed she had black and Latina roots.
She is an associate professor of African American history at George Washington University in Washington DC. University bosses have launched an investigation into her confession.
Krug apologised in an online article, admitting: “Every move I’ve made, every relationship I’ve formed, has been rooted in the napalm toxic soil of lies.”
She wrote: “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.”
She added: “I have built my life on a violent anti-Black lie.”
Krug blamed her lies on mental health issues and childhood trauma but said this was not an excuse for her actions.
The professor apologised for her “continued appropriation of a Black Caribbean identity.”
Anmol Goraya, one of her international affairs’ students, said she was “shocked”.
Goraya said: “And I’m just shocked that it was such a complete lie.”
Other university faculty took to social media to share their experience with Krug, with anthropologist Yarimar Bonilla claiming she always knew something was “off”.
“She always dressed/acted inappropriately — she’d show up to a 10am scholars’ seminar dressed for a salsa club etc—but was so over the top strident and ‘woker-than-though’ that I felt like I was trafficking in respectability politics when I cringed at her MINSTREL SHOW,” she wrote on Twitter.
The scandal has drawn comparisons with Rachel Dolezal, the former African Studies lecturer who “passed” and identified as black until it was revealed in 2015 that both of her parents are white.
It further emerged that Dolezal had been darkening her skin and perming her hair in an effort to resemble a black woman.
Despite being of exclusively European heritage, she has continued to insist she is African American.