Friday, March 4, 2011

Brooklyn, Home of the Urban Legend

 We all know that gigantic blind alligators live in the sewers under Brooklyn. It turns out that our borough is a popular setting for other Urban Legends as well.

Here are some Brooklyn-based Snopes claims -- all true, we swear:

Claim: Tropical Fantasy contains a special ingredient that will render black men sterile.
Status: False.
Origins: Tropical Fantasy was brought onto the market in September 1990 by Brooklyn Bottling, a small family-owned soft drink manufacturer. It was an overnight success, taking in $2 million plus a month. Until . . .
In April 1991 rumors began circulating in black neighborhoods that the beverage was laced with a secret ingredient that would cause sterility in black men, and that the Ku Klux Klan were the actual bottlers. Sales of the beverage plummeted by 70 percent. Get the full story here.

Claim: 5-year-old Christopher Mineo is missing from his Brooklyn home.
Status: False.
Origins: You get this email with a photo of a little boy: "I am asking you all, begging you to please forward this email on to anyone and everyone you know, PLEASE. I have a 5 year old son named Christopher John Mineo jr, Knick name C.J. I am from brooklyn N.Y. He has been missing since november of 98. Etc. etc. Get the story here.

Claim: Snapple, owned by three Jewish Brooklyn boys, is affiliated with the Ku Klux Klan.
Status: False
Origins: The beverage's former label's design pictured a ship in the background and the small letter K off to the side. Some claimed the vessel as a 'blackbirder,' a slave ship that brought enslaved Blacks to America. Look at the label closely, they would say, and you'll see captured Blacks in chains on the deck and crewmen further in the background wearing the distinctive Klansman sheet-and-hood. . .  More here.

Claim: Fortune cookies aren't Chinese, they're American -- specifically, from Brooklyn.
Status: True!
Origins: In 1992 Brooklyn-based Wonton Food expanded its existing fortune cookie business into China, building the very first fortune cookie factory in that land. But that project was short-lived. "Fortune cookies are too American," said a company VP. More here.

More Brooklyn legends here.

Photo by http207, Creative Commons license

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1 comment:

Brenda from Flatbush said...

Can we start a rumor that cigarettes are a KKK plot? It would save a lot of black lives.