Staff Report

MIAMI, Fla. – During this Black History Month members of Miami’s African American and cultural community will gather at Historic Virginia Key Beach Park on Sunday, Feb. 21 at 10 a.m. to celebrate the memory and life of Sister Denise Wilson-El with drumming and heartfelt reflections. Wilson-El transitioned from this life on Jan. 23, 2021 in Tallahassee, Fla. She was 83.

“Sister Denise,” as she was affectionately called, leaves a legacy of passionately educating Miami’s black community and beyond about the indigenous connections to the land in America.

A dedicated historian, she imparted her in-depth research in weekly regional radio programs. During her decades of living in South Florida, she had a long-running column titled “It’s Your Duty” which ran in the Westside Gazette Newspaper, The Black Miami Weekly, and Southern Dawn Magazine.

Through her organization R.U.T.H. (Reveal and Uplift Truth of History), she had far-reaching influence on various cultural and civic groups, some of which she hosted in her home, including The International African Movement (I.A.M. Miami), Concerned African Women, The Great Seal National Association of Moorish Affairs; S.C.L.C. (the Southern Christian Leadership Conference), the African American Caribbean Cultural Arts Commission, and many others.

Sister Denise was a Shiekess in the Moorish Science Temple of America, a founding member of the Community of El-Eastmoor, and a close advisor to the late Robert Hall.

Attendees are asked to wear white to the waterside remembrance which will also be recorded and accessible via Zoom or live-streaming for posterity. A Zoom link will be released in the days leading up to Feb. 21. COVID-19 protocols for social distancing will also be observed.

Members of Sister Denise’s family will be present and the commemoration will be hosted by Asi Niamaya, Jeanette Stephens-El/Raining Deer, and Raymond Fauntroy.

Anyone anticipating being on site or for other information email