So, this happened.
When I first saw it, I paused. I put my hand over my mouth in surprise. Then I laughed. I was surprised that I laughed, but the meme is spot on and, quite frankly, impressive in how the issues affecting slaves surrounding literacy was summed up by one meme with one sentence and a photograph.
Literacy has, and still is, a double-edged sword without a handle inside of a water balloon. If you’re careful you can have as many literacies as you want. When you want more than you’re allowed, when you get a little thirsty, you can easily get cut down by those who are in control. This metaphor, the meme, and the lives of slaves who achieved literacy all boil down to a reality that still exists today. That reality is existing within a system that both promotes literacy for some and attempts to retard the achievement of literacy for others.
Besides the aforementioned, this meme also shows how the literacies apparent in multi-modal literacies interact and build upon each other.
If this meme was not a meme but a simple sentence that someone posted as a status update or something, it would not have been nearly as successful. However, with the photograph attached and under the hashtag of #MemeHistory its potential for success grew exponentially.