Caution: Careful Not to Share Black History Memes with False Information

Martin Luther King Jr. recovers from surgery in bed at New York’s Harlem Hospital on following an operation to remove steel letter opener from his chest after being stabbed by a mentally disturbed woman as he signed books in Harlem. (John Lent/AP)

I am reposting this because February is approaching and we will see a lot of false information attached to Black History memes, same as always.

According to a famous Facebook post, King was not killed during an April 4, 1968, assassination attempt, but survived that shooting and was later “smothered by someone in the hospital.”

Is this true?

Let’s see.

Updated 1/28/2021

It’s Throwback Thursday so let’s go back in time a lil bit.

September 20, 1958

The year is 1958 and we are in Harlem, baby. Dr. King is signing copies of his first book “Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story,” at the Blumstein’s Department Store, on 230 West 125th Street.

It’s a nice afternoon and young King is just twenty-nine years old, releasing his first book and feeling good. And we are feeling good too because we are ready to get our copy. The line is long but before we get bored a voice makes us all stop and look in their direction.

“Is this Martin Luther King?” shouts a well-dressed black woman wearing rhinestone glasses and a matching necklace and earrings but carried an ugly brown bag and an even uglier scowl. The woman stepped out of line, causing groans from the people in front of her.

We don’t know this yet, but she is forty-two-year-old Izola Ware Curry, the black daughter of sharecroppers.

King nodded, “Yes, it is.”

“I’ve been looking for you for five years,” says Curry while pulling a letter opener with an ivory handle from her purse, which we don’t really know is a letter opener because we don’t use those anymore.

“Ooh, snap!” We gasp, placing our hands over our mouths. “Why she come so dressed up for if she was trying to kill somebody?”

“What is she doing?” says another one of us.

“Yea, man. Doesn’t she know this is Martin Luther King?”

“He not all that popular yet,” says a young black boy wearing chino pants and a white polo shirt. He put his hand in his pocket when he said it, smiled and then tilted his head like he was better than us. “Ya’ll not from here, are ya?”

Before we could answer, the sound of screams forces our attention back to the direction of the strange woman. She swings the letter opener at King, and sliced his finger then plunges the seven-inch blade into the left side of his chest.

“Oh, my God!” someone screams and just like that, the store is in an uproar. We are all screaming and running as someone apprehends the woman.

We look at King secretly hoping she didn’t get him because we still kinda want our book.

But when we see somebody who looks like our Grandma rush to his side, we know that’s not going to happen.

Dr. King is sitting in this chair all calm and cool like he ain’t just been stabbed. Meanwhile the letter opener’s ivory handle is still protruding just below his collar.

The police arrive. “Don’t sneeze, don’t even speak,” says Officer Al Howard, fearful of the blade’s proximity to King’s heart. Because of how the letter opener hit him, if King had sneezed, he would have died.

So, they move King slowly and carefully and take him to Harlem Hospital, and he undergoes emergency surgery.

 

Then, we jump in our time machine and head back to 2021 because it’s wild out here in the 50s.


Oct. 3, 1958
King leaves the hospital almost two weeks after the stabbing

The photo at the start of this post is not of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. after being shot in Memphis, Tennessee in 1968.

That is a picture of Dr. King ten whole years earlier in 1958 at a New York Hospital after being stabbed at his book signing. He spent almost two weeks in the hospital recovering.

“If I had sneezed, I wouldn’t have been around here in 1962, when Negroes in Albany, Georgia, decided to straighten their backs up. And whenever men and women straighten their backs up, they are going somewhere, because a man can’t ride your back unless it is bent.” – Martin Luther King Jr., “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop.” April 3, 1968

I hope this creative backdrop added some perspective. Although I wrote it like a short story, everything I said here is the truth. Izola Curry, really did attack Dr. King at his book signing in Harlem.

Now to the original post…

There are tons of Black History memes circulating on the internet and this number has increased even more due to it being Black History Month. However, many of these memes are not historically accurate. Please be sure to double check your facts before sharing. Otherwise, you are guilty of spreading disinformation.

Black people have contributed to the world so that we don’t have to make stuff up. If you see a meme with a fun fact on it, just open the internet on your phone and type the name or fact into the search bar. You can tell from there if the material is accurate or not. Sometimes it will even come up that the information is an opinion or cannot be verified by any trusted source.

Use not only your phone to log into Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Use it to research these things and educate the people right.

Look for scholarly, peer-reviewed articles on .gov, .edu, or .org sites and trustworthy blogs. Peer-reviewed means information from a reputable source, information that shows that other professionals have reviewed and deemed it worthy of publication.

Wikipedia is not a credible source alone. Other trusted sources should support anything gained from Wiki.

And on the Monday of MLK day when everyone takes off and celebrates his legacy, remember that he was born on January 15, 1929, not whatever Monday you take off.

Virtual Reality

We live in computers
and communicate
telepathically
wirelessly crossing dimensions
the deafening silence of
connections
that ain’t connected
how do you know
if I wrote this poem in my own
tears
or scribbled these letters
with the sharpened edge of my own
backbone
how do I know
that you didn’t throw me a smile
minus the jagged tooth remains
of a dilapitated heart
cause the grass is always greener
on social media
when we live in a world
where emojis digitize
the masks we wear
until our differences melt the pride
and phony personas
hanging off the edge of gravatars
profile pictures and WordPress walls
that captured nothing but smiling faces
and not the lies behind them
because virtual realities
is anything but virtuous
for we hide
behind usernames
and cartoon ourselves
into the people
we wish we were
speak in a language we are too afraid
to utter
outloud
tremble in the presence
of flesh
and bone
too afraid of human connection
to connect
how would you know
if I wrote this poem in my own
tears
or scribbled these letters
with the sharpened edge of my own
backbone
how could I know
If you emojied me a smile
minus the jagged tooth remains
of a dilapitated heart
here, in this place
where we log out of life
to login

The Faceless Internet

turtleneck_by_faceless_monster-d5l2jwlIf I could go back in time to visit my great great great grandmother, she’d probably not believe me if I told her about this world; if I told her about the people walking around with no face. Except they do not exactly walk either. They glide instead on finger toes and eyeballs. Here skin meets electricity and together they blend their energies into the production of a being; a something with a name and a picture for a face. My grandmother would probably ask the obvious, “How do we know that’s truly them?”

“Well, Granny that’s the point, we don’t.”

These are faceless internet people. They create careers out of dot-coms, and download personalities they think will fit the World Wide Web. The most courageous, most bold beings I’ve ever seen behind Photoshopped Gravatars and surrogate heads. You see the Internets a place where flies are dragons and little blind mice are soldiers. Be who you wanna be and say what you will because no one will ever discover your venom to be nothing more than a glass spine. They don’t really have mouths anyway. Just faceless internet people walking around on keyboards with their fingers, pretending to be people.

Disconnect

169937458-660x440

Common Sense has now been down-graded
on a scale of OMG, I’m LMBO,
I can’t hear the sound of laughing my butt off!
can’t tell if my voice is hard or soft
where
have all the people gone?
Real
players must have given it a new definition
because I can’t hear the sound of my own voice, can’t find the emotion because sounds
have been replaced
with dashboards and megabyte space
My space
has been invaded
can take words back as if I didn’t mean to say it
back spacing the profane
though it’s not my heart speaking
At least the internet will stop it from Wiki-leaking
You know I’ve never had any friends but maybe if I stick my social neck out far enough I can work it
Birds and butterflies have too been affected by twitter
caught somewhere between .com’s and world-wide nets
Negativity has now been filtered
And instagram has replaced the big dipper
I don’t know what stars look like, but at least I can add them as a friend and pretend I know what their life is
like
me
though you hate me
So you see, sometimes I just feel disconnected
Because reality has become TV
my fist is in a frenzy
but don’t worry, I’ll scan you images of my fingers so you can feel me
Because someone pulled the plug on reality
and my family can’t contact me
because I haven’t been added yet
blue screen
virus
Disconnect
Me from sensitivity
I’m sitting right next to you
but I don’t have a touch screen so maybe I’ll go somewhere else and Google Play
You see I’ve always been in love with words
and obsessed with books
but I’m going out of business
because it’s already on Facebook
books
have been replaced
with ROFL, NP…and something else but I don’t have enough space left on this computer cause he’s too busy trying to type
write her
I love you…
though I can’t look into your eyes and I have no idea the structure of your face but
semi-colon
smiley face

I can’t
see
I can’t
smell
I can’t
taste
I don’t know how to write because my senses are out of touch
screen
my heart and e-mail it to you
tube my eyes and see if you can change the text
message in this poetic message
paint
typing at the speed of 35MPH

guess I’m just too slow for this new place
though I’ve always been in love with words, maybe I’ll just forget about it all
But
there’s no need to panic
You can just take these final words
and cut, copy, and paste them to your wall.
So that you can re-post my pain
and respond with ikr….

(even though you don’t really know what I’m talking about)
but you can inbox me your heart
and I can attempt to read it right
so go ahead
give me a heads up with a million likes

but you’ll never feel me…