Crucet says in statement that a group gathered outside her hotel

Sarah Smith

STATESBORO — Following the burning of her novel, Jennine Capó Crucet released a statement on Twitter saying that a crowd of people had gathered outside her original hotel.

Crucet was invited by Georgia Southern to come speak to at the Performing Arts Center on Wednesday regarding her book, Make Your Home Among Strangers, which was a required reading for some of the FYE classes.

“Later that night my campus hosts moved me from the lodging they had arranged in town to another hotel in another town,” Crucet wrote in her statement. “It was only when I read the statement from GSU’s writing and rhetoric department that I learned a crowd had formed outside the original accommodations.”

Asked about Crucet’s statement, GS spokesperson Jennifer Wise said in an email, “we have no knowledge of any students or crowd that gathered outside of her hotel. Ms. Crucet was moved to another hotel at her request.”

Crucet has given this same speech to other schools, including Stanford University and Albion College.

“Nothing close to events at GSU has occurred during any of my previous campus visits,” Crucet said. 

During the Q&A segment of the lecture, a white student approached the microphone and asked Crucet why she felt qualified to speak on white privilege. 

“Her hostile reaction to my work closely mirrored the exchange that I recount in the essay itself. It was very surreal and strange,” Crucet said in her statement. “I answered the question with the same response that I cite in the essay, and mentioned out loud that this moment felt like déjà vu.”

Students began shouting back and forth, which Crucet saw as a need for conversations to be had within the university. The event continued on with multiple students commenting on how much they enjoyed her book, according to Crucet.

A video was posted later that night of students burning her book in a grill outside of Eagle Village.

“This book began as an act of love and an attempt at deeper understanding,” Crucet wrote in her statement. “I hope GSU can act from the same place and work to affirm the humanity of those students who might understandably feel unsafe in the aftermath of the event and the book burning, and that the campus continues the difficult and necessary conversation that began in that auditorium.”

The full statement by Crucet can be accessed above.

More information regarding the incident can accessed here.

An update was made to this article at 4:53 p.m. Friday

Sarah Smith, The George-Anne News Editor,