In an email, Green told me that he had a few exchanges with Krug because “there are not many historians of precolonial West/West Central Africa out there!” He insisted the book was “based on solid research,” and that he “found it one of the best kinds of history, taking a sledgehammer to state power of all kinds… So for many reasons, I found the revelations (about Krug) saddening.”
Krug took advantage of the willingness of many urban Puerto Ricans to embrace their African ancestors to claim Blackness — “Caribbean rooted Bronx Blackness,” as she describes in her Medium post, even though she was visibly light-skinned.
Why Krug did what she did will be debated by psychologists, pundits and historians for years to come. “To say that I clearly have been battling some unaddressed mental health demons for my entire life, as both an adult and child, is obvious,” she wrote in her Medium post. “Mental health issues likely explain why I assumed a false identity initially, as a youth, and why I continued and developed it for so long.”
Krug says she is “belatedly seeking help” for these issues. While she does that, we can’t lose sight of how now, more than ever, our university system must support Black and brown scholars and fields of study, as well as enhance opportunities for the growth of its faculty and prestige of the field.