DuSable Museum and the Moorish Cultural Workshop
- Dee Ward,
I am glad to learn that you are on DuSable Museum's Women's Board.
I ask for your assistance to present to the DuSable Museum the idea that
it purchase the home of David Ellison-Bey in Englewood and include his
home as an affiliate.
David Ellison-Bey is the founder of the Moorish Cultural Workshop. He
has participated in many Black American nationalist movements. He
served as Grand National Sheik for the Moorish Science Temple of America.
David's home at 6726 S Parnell Ave is an archive of the Moors, but also
many other organizations that he has been a part of. For example, he
brought Frederic H.H. Hammurabi Robb to the Moorish temple to sell House
of Knowledge publications on Saturdays, and Hammurabi left him his
David has lived at his home for decades. Disturbingly, as a vulnerable,
elderly man in a depressed neighborhood, he fell prey to unscrupulous
lenders. In 2008, his home was foreclosed. Last year it was sold and
the sale was confirmed. He has been ordered to leave his home, yet he
David's home is his mind! He is a Renaissance man who, even in the
1960s, studied computers, yoga, sewing, health food, recycling,
philosophy, religion, administration, taxes, history, gardening,
networking, entrepreneurship, economics and home economics. He
practiced all of that and shared that, especially with the children. His
home is organized in his mind to reflect all of his interests, although
it may not be immediately apparent, given his stacks of books, LPs,
videos, magazines and papers.
David grew up in New York with people of all ethnic backgrounds. He
served in the Air Force in Georgia and Alaska, and to the surprise of
many black nationalists, he went out of his way to include people of all
races and backgrounds. He radiates a dignity that immediately puts
people at ease.
Dr. Margaret Burroughs and David Ellison-Bey knew each other and were
birds of a feather. They both belonged to the All Souls First Unitarian
Society. "Sister Margaret" gave him a tour of the DuSable Museum and
told him that they had documents about the Moors in the basement. He
used to bring children to the museum.
DuSable Museum started out at the Burroughs' home. David has just such
a museum today, complete with a workshop, a program for lifelong
learning. He is a righteous man, an observer of society, and an
independent advocate of dismantling the racial caste system. He is the
reality at the bottom of things that few people get to know. His
righteousness is why he is losing his home.
His home could easily be purchased by DuSable Museum, however. Such
homes are being sold for $5,000 or $10,000. This may be an opportunity
to restore justice. It may also be an opportunity for the museum to
bring people to see a real life, independent museum indigenous to one of
America's most distraught neighborhoods, and ever uplifting it with the
spirit of "love, truth, peace, freedom and justice".
It would be more than justice to see David visited by interns who might
come to study with him and work to realize his Moorish Cultural
Workshop. They might video him, create websites with him and extend our
living history into the future.
David and I have been friends for more than 15 years. Over the years, I
have lived at his home for more than a dozen months. As a Knight News
Challenge award winner, I blogged at the PBS website about a murder that
took place at the lot next to his house (we heard the shots):
I also blogged his hardship letter to Aurora Loan Services:
This was several months before the mortgate industry crashed! As a
result of such posts, which were considered "too personal", I was banned
from blogging at the PBS website.
David is a most independent man, and a most righteous man. This makes
it all the more worthwhile to engage him. He agrees that I write this
letter to you. He invites you to visit, to get to know him and to share
ideas. Certainly, he is an important person to document. As you get to
know him, you will get ideas!
Please do visit him! His phone number is: -------. I would be glad to
I share with some online groups where David's letters are read with