‘Poor Ms. Tina’: Tina Knowles-Lawson Shares Image of Martin Luther King Jr. That Includes a Man She and Others Mistook to be Samuel L. Jackson, Actor Responds

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Samuel L. Jackson is setting some people straight about the time he met civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Over the weekend, the online world shared a meme of Dr. King playing pool with several men standing behind him to watch. The meme read, “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Shooting Pool In 1966. Samuel L. Jackson, Who Was A Freshman At Morehouse College At The Time, Is In This Photo.” In the back right corner of the black-and-white photo is a young, tall and slender man wearing glasses, who closely resembles Jackson.

Samuel L. Jackson and Tina Knowles-Lawson (Photo: @samuelljackson/Instagram) (Photo: @tinalawson/Instagram)
Samuel L. Jackson and Tina Knowles-Lawson (Photo: @samuelljackson/Instagram) (Photo: @tinalawson/Instagram)

Many reposted the meme, including Tina Knowles-Lawson. Under the now-deleted Instagram post, she wrote from whom she’d reposted the picture along with the words, “Convinced that Samuel L Jackson has the craziest life on Earth, he was in Star Wars , Marvel movies and met MLK!”

“Sorry @mstinalawson, that’s NOT me,” Jackson responded under Lawson’s post.

He also retweeted the picture on Twitter from a blogger’s account. He responded, “
Okay, I met Dr King, but not at a pool hall. That’s NOT me!!”

One thing that is true about Jackson’s experience with Dr. King, is that he was an usher at his funeral in 1968. He told Hollywood Reporter that at the time he was attending Morehouse College and was a sophomore. As he was watching a movie on campus someone relayed the information to him that Dr. King had been shot and killed.

Jackson said he left the movies, went to his door, and came outside to find people burning up the neighborhood. Days later, he and a few other people were invited by Bill Cosby and Robert Culp to attend a strike for garbage workers in Memphis.

“We flew back that night,” Jackson wrote, “and went to Sisters Chapel at Spelman College, where Dr. King was lying in state. The next day was the funeral. They needed volunteers to help people find their way around campus, and I became an usher. I remember Mahalia Jackson singing. I’d been listening to her all my life, so it was great to hear her sing ‘Precious Lord, Take My Hand’ live.”

The “Glass” actor added, “I remember seeing people like Harry Belafonte and Sidney Poitier. People that I thought I’d never see, let alone have a relationship with later on in life. The funeral was pretty much a blur.”

Social media users who saw the repost from Knowles-Lawson reacted with comments such as “Poor Ms. Tina” and “She always reposting wrong information.”

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