CAUTION: 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 I just ran across another false meme. It’s the one with MLK in the hospital with the text that he was still alive when they shot him at the Lorraine Motel (using the image above). The text applied to that picture is not true. The image is real, but the text is not.

King was stabbed at his first book signing in Harlem in 1958. Proof of this can be heard from King’s own mouth one day before his death in his “Promised Land “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech. Because of how the letter opener hit him, if King had sneezed, he would have died. He references this in his speech, saying:

“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

The picture you see is a photograph of him after the surgery from the stabbing. The woman who stabbed him also had a gun on her but was apprehended before she got to use it. To apply the text that this was him after they had shot him at the motel is deception. It’s not true. (Even if he was still alive at the hospital after the shooting, this isn’t the picture of that time).

As February approaches, please be careful with what you share. We are about to see a lot of false Black History memes (which is unfortunate because it’s unnecessary).

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. (For example, it is not accurate to say that anyone born in the 19th, or 20th centuries invented heat. Heat has been around for far longer). Otherwise, you are guilty of spreading disinformation. All it takes is a quick Google search.

Wikipedia is not a credible source by itself. Anything acquired from Wiki need to be validated by other trusted sources.

A good rule of thumb is to 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 indicates that other professionals have reviewed and deemed it worthy of publication.

Black people have contributed greatly to the world so that we really 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 info is accurate or not. Sometimes it will even come up that the fact cannot be validated but is a popular opinion. Put those research skills to work and educate the people right. (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
wirelessly crossing dimensions
the deafening silence of
that ain’t connected
how do you know
if I wrote this poem in my own
or scribbled these letters
with the sharpened edge of my own
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
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
or scribbled these letters
with the sharpened edge of my own
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.



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
have all the people gone?
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
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
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
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
smiley face

I can’t
I can’t
I can’t
I don’t know how to write because my senses are out of touch
my heart and e-mail it to you
tube my eyes and see if you can change the text
message in this poetic message
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
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…