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Yakub is a key figure within the Nation of Islam teachings in North America and is described as being a 6,600-year-old Black male scientist with a very large head or brain. According to NOI writings, Yakub's experiments are eventually what led to the creation of white people, as well as other types of non-Asian and non-Black people. Yakub is often seen as the progenitor and ancestor of white people, which is often used as a reference in memes depicting him found online.
Yakub first appeared in the writings and teachings of the Nation of Islam by W.D. Fard as part of a question and answer style pamphlet titled Lost Found Moslem Lesson No. 2 by Elijah Muhammad, published on February 20th, 1924. It is unknown when the first online mention of Yakub first took place, but one of the first mentions of Yakub online in social circles comes from the WordPress page Heartiste, which included a picture of a Black man with a large, bulbous head shape, on January 8th, 2015 (shown below).
Over the next several years, Yakub's presence online spread to other sites and platforms, such as iFunny and 4chan, where he began appearing in memes. For example, on April 23rd, 2015, iFunny user HacksAndFactz_2015 uploaded a fact-style meme that stated that the "Nation of Islam believes that white people were created by Yakub in the Greek islands of Patmos," while having the flag of Turkey used as the backdrop (shown below).
After the initial memes about Yakub and the concept started spreading in the mid-to-late 2010s, "Yakubposting" took off, with "Yakub-maxxing" becoming a frequent term used whenever someone posted a picture with an enlarged head, either through Photoshop or actual genetic factors. This can be seen in an iFunny post by user BenShapiro on September 11th, 2021, featuring an image of streamer Tyler1 (shown below).
A furthering of Yakub memes comes from the supposed claim that he created white people, with various images and GIFs made that express either joy, disappointment, outright rage or pride at his creation of white people and the culture that follows. For example, an iFunny post by user free_twovie features an older Black man that is being called "Doctor Yakub" in a picture with two white women, which the meme claims he just created (shown below).
Raymond Spencer Washington D.C. 2022 Shooting
On April 22nd, 2022, Raymond Spencer, a 23-year-old man from Virginia, shot four people and then killed himself in northwest Washington, D.C. He reportedly fired at a school from his apartment across the street and then killed himself as police arrived. A photo posted on Twitter later by the D.C. police department showed the guns Spencer used in his apartment, as well as a picture of Yakub hanging on his wall (seen below).
PHOTOS Multiple firearms and a large quantity of ammo were recovered inside the fifth floor apartment where the suspect was found deceased. pic.twitter.com/3mR2uoqFTM
— DC Police Department (@DCPoliceDept) April 23, 2022
In the following days after the Yakub poster in Spencer's apartment was revealed by D.C. police, many reacted to the image with confusion, leading to "Yakub" trending on Twitter and other memes being made in reaction to it. One such example was tweeted by Twitter user Real_Xi_Jinping on April 23rd, who said "What's with the Yakub.png on the Simpsons cloud background?," receiving over 300 likes in two days.
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