Finding Aid

Access

The collection is open for research use.

Use

Digital only. Physical access can be arranged by contacting Kameelah Janan Rasheed.

The Moorish Science Temple of America

Overview

Collaborators

Sheik Robert Webb-Bey, Sheik Azeem Hopkins-Bey, Chairman Terrence Hopkins-Bey

Date Span1928—2017
Quantity105

Historical Note

The Moorish Science Temple of America (MSTA) is a religious organization founded in 1913 by Noble Drew Ali, born Timothy Drew. Among many beliefs, he asserted that Black people are descendants of the Moors who governed North West Africa. As such Black people, or "so-called Black people" as the Moorish community phrases it, are not Black but Moorish Americans "Moslems" of Islamic faith. Noble Drew Ali was reported to have stood on street corners in Chicago proclaiming: "Come all ye Asiatic of America and hear the truth about your nationality and birthrights, because you are not negroes. Learn of your forefathers ancient and divine Creed. That you will learn to love instead of hate." In addition to the assertion of a specific national identity, the MSTA was founded instill national pride and spiritual upliftment at a particular point in American history when "so-called Black people" were searching for a sense of belonging in the midst of the Great Migration and shifting national politics.

Scope & Content

The Moorish Science Temple of America Collection (1928-2017) contains a variety of digital items connected with the organization. 

The collection contains: 

  • photographs and video of important annual celebrations and events including the Remembrance Day as well as Prophet's Day
  • photographs of members of the Moorish Science Temple of America in their homes
  • photographs of items in the archive of Temple 11 (Philadelphia)
  • annotated reproductions of the Holy Koran
  • interviews with Sheiks and members
  • reproductions of the FBI file on the Moorish Science Temple of America
  • reproductions of the Moorish Guide 
  • research notes 

Items

1.0 Research Process
Collection2 Images
  • 1.0.0 Moorish Creed and Handwritten Notes
  • 1.0.1 Annotated Pages of Sheik Azeem Hopkins-Bey's "Prophet Noble Drew Ali: Saviour of Humanity"
1.3 Interview: Ali's Men, Orthodoxy, and Knowledge Production in the MSTA
Collection96 Words1 Image
  • 1.3.0 Moorish Americans Documenting Themselves
1.4 2016 Ali's Men Summit
Collection1 Video
1.5 Misconceptions About the Moorish Science Temple of America
Collection5 Images
  • 1.5.0 (Page 1) Statement on the Radical and Subversive Fringe Groups Claiming to be Affiliated with the Moorish Science Temple of America, Inc.
  • 1.5.1 (Page 2) Statement on the Radical and Subversive Fringe Groups Claiming to be Affiliated with the Moorish Science Temple of America, Inc.
  • 1.5.2 (Page 3) Statement on the Radical and Subversive Fringe Groups Claiming to be Affiliated with the Moorish Science Temple of America, Inc.
  • 1.5.3 (Page 1) Statement on Events and Groups Claiming to be Affiliated with the Moorish Science Temple of America, Inc. Fraudulent Use of Corporate Name and Trademarks
  • 1.5.4 (Page 2) Statement on Events and Groups Claiming to be Affiliated with the Moorish Science Temple of America, Inc. Fraudulent Use of Corporate Name and Trademarks
1.6 Temple 11 Archive
Collection8 Images
  • 1.6.0 Temple 11
  • 1.6.1 Sheik Azeem Hopkins-Bey Holding Photograph of Moorish Banquet
  • 1.6.2 Sheik Azeem Hopkins-Bey Holding Photograph of Elder Moors
  • 1.6.3 Sheik Azeem Hopkins-Bey Holding Photograph of Moorish General
  • 1.6.4 Sheik Azeem Hopkins-Bey Holding Photograph of the First Annual Convention of the Moorish Science Temple of America
  • 1.6.5 Left Wall on Second Floor of Temple 11
  • 1.6.6 Large Portrait of Noble Drew Ali resting on Air Conditioner
  • 1.6.7 Right Wall on Second Floor of Temple 11
1.8 Robert Webb-Bey's Journey to the Moorish Science Temple of America
Collection4 Images
  • 1.8.0 Spiritual Journey Map
  • 1.8.1 Excerpt of Personal Statement Essay by Robert Webb (Sundiata Salaam)
  • 1.8.2 The Watchtower: Armageddon
  • 1.8.3 What Do Jehovah's Witnesses Believe?
1.9 Robert Webb-Bey Joined the Moorish Science Temple of America in 2012
Collection5 Images
  • 1.9.0 Robert Webb-Bey
  • 1.9.1 Robert Webb-Bey Holding Circle 7 Pendant
  • 1.9.2 Hold Up Five Fingers
  • 1.9.3 Reading Surah 34: Saba from the Holy Quran
  • 1.9.4 Moorish Science Temple of America Dues Card
1.10 Robert Webb-Bey and N'seeka MacPherson-Bey
Collection5 Images
  • 1.10.0 N'seeka MacPherson-Bey in Turban
  • 1.10.1 N'seeka MacPherson-Bey Holds Scarf Pen
  • 1.10.2 Robert Webb-Bey and N'seeka MacPherson-Bey Reading Quran Together
  • 1.10.3 N'seeka MacPherson-Bey
  • 1.10.4 Robert Webb-Bey and N'seeka MacPherson-Bey
1.11 Interview: Sheik Azeem Hopkins-Bey Explains the Origin and Design of the Holy Koran of the Moorish Science Temple of America
Collection184 Words1 Image
  • 1.11.0 The Holy Koran of the Moorish Science Temple and Koran Questions for Moorish Americans
1.12 The Holy Koran of the Moorish Science Temple of America Divinely Prepared by The Noble Prophet Drew Ali
Collection5 Images
  • 1.12.0 The Holy Koran of the Moorish Science Temple of America Divinely Prepared by The Noble Prophet Drew Ali
  • 1.12.1 (Know Thyself and Allah) The Holy Koran of the Moorish Science Temple of America Divinely Prepared by The Noble Prophet Drew Ali
  • 1.12.2 (Chapter 7) The Holy Koran of the Moorish Science Temple of America Divinely Prepared by The Noble Prophet Drew
  • 1.12.3 (Chapter 36) The Holy Koran of the Moorish Science Temple of America Divinely Prepared by The Noble Prophet Drew
  • 1.12.4 (Table of Contents and Back Cover) The Holy Koran of the Moorish Science Temple of America Divinely Prepared by The Noble Prophet Drew Ali
1.13 FBI Investigation
Collection6 Images
  • 1.13.0 FBI File: The Holy Koran of the Moorish Science Temple of America
  • 1.13.1 FBI File: The Holy Koran of the Moorish Science Temple of America
  • 1.13.2 FBI File: The Holy Koran of the Moorish Science Temple of America
  • 1.13.3 FBI File: The Holy Koran of the Moorish Science Temple of America
  • 1.13.4 FBI File: The Holy Koran of the Moorish Science Temple of America
  • 1.13.5 FBI File: The Holy Koran of the Moorish Science Temple of America
1.15 FBI Files: "He stated that he is not a negro...[but] Bey has all the appearance and characteristics of a Negro."
Collection2 Images
  • 1.15.0 (Page 1) FBI File Letter Detailing Conversation with Member of the Moorish Science Temple of America
  • 1.15.1 (Page 2) FBI File Letter Detailing Conversation with Member of the Moorish Science Temple of America
1.16 You are Not Negroes, Colored Folks, Black People or Ethiopians
Collection309 Words1 Image
  • 1.16.0 Prophet Noble Drew Ali (standing center) and temple members, at religious service of the Moorish Science Temple of America, circa late 1920s
1.18 Moorish American Remembrance Day
Collection185 Words26 Images
  • 1.18.0 Leaders of Moorish Science Temple Holding the American and Moorish Flag
  • 1.18.1 Sister Tami Hollowell-El from Temple 11 Study Group in Memphis, TN
  • 1.18.2 Two Sisters in Traditional Turbans
  • 1.18.3 Sisters Listening to Sheik Azeem Hopkins-Bey Explain the Importance of Remembrance Day
  • 1.18.4 Leader Holding Moorish Flag
  • 1.18.5 Brother Taharka Aboke Bey from Baltimore, MD
  • 1.18.6 Sister Elisa Hopkins-Bey with Her Daughters and Friend
  • 1.18.7 Brother Walking with Procession During Remembrance Trek
  • 1.18.8 Moorish Americans Walking with Remembrance Trek Procession
  • 1.18.9 Young Moorish American Man Takes Pause
  • 1.18.10 Sheik Azeem Hopkins-Bey Explaining the Remembrance Trek in Front of Independence Hall
  • 1.18.11 Moorish Americans Listening to Sheik Azeem Hopkins-Bey Explain the Importance of Nationality
  • 1.18.12 Moorish American Man Listening to Sheik Azeem Hopkins-Bey Explain the Importance of Nationality
  • 1.18.13 Young Moorish American Boy and Girl
  • 1.18.14 Moorish Americans Listening to Sheik Azeem Hopkins-Bey Explain the Importance of Nationality
  • 1.18.15 Moorish Science Temple of America Leaders Taking a Break During Trek
  • 1.18.16 Brother Javed Bey
  • 1.18.17 Brother Javed Bey and Sister Delelia
  • 1.18.18 Mother Love, the Mother of Sheik Azeem Hopkins-Bey
  • 1.18.19 Sheik Azeem Hopkins-Bey and his Mother, Mother Love
  • 1.18.20 Moorish American Men Taking a Break During Banquet
  • 1.18.21 Moorish Science Temple of America Charter
  • 1.18.22 Day of Remembrance Banquet
  • 1.18.23 Mother and Daughter at Day of Remembrance Banquet
  • 1.18.24 Sheik Azeem Hopkins-Bey Delivering Lecture at Banquet
  • 1.18.25 Sheik Azeem Hopkins-Bey Takes a Break During Lecture at Banquet
1.19 The Moorish Guide Newspaper
Collection5 Images
  • 1.19.0 The Moorish Guide, Cover
  • 1.19.1 The Moorish Guide, Page 11
  • 1.19.2 The Moorish Guide, Page 27
  • 1.19.3 The Moorish Guide, Message for the Grand Sheik
  • 1.19.4 The Moorish Guide, Temple Locator
1.20 Prophet's Day 2017
Collection22 Images
  • 1.20.0 Untitled image
  • 1.20.1 Untitled image
  • 1.20.2 Nawal, Moorish American Girl Eats Peanuts Before Festivities Begin
  • 1.20.3 Location of Prophet's Day Celebration
  • 1.20.4 Framed Images of the Prophet for Sale at Souvenir Table
  • 1.20.5 Moorish Flags and United States Flags
  • 1.20.6 "Race Pride" Dolls
  • 1.20.7 "Race Pride" Dolls
  • 1.20.8 Prophet's Day Banner
  • 1.20.9 Printed Portrait of Noble Drew Ali Taped to Mirror
  • 1.20.10 Moorish American Brother and Moorish American Sister Greet One Anothe
  • 1.20.11 Brother D. Lewis-El and Brother M. Drayton-Bey Share a Hug
  • 1.20.12 Young Girl Points to Charter of the Moorish Science Temple of America
  • 1.20.13 Young Girls Send Photos to One Another on Cell Phones
  • 1.20.14 The Grand Mufti and Stand Before the Ceremony Begins
  • 1.20.15 Brother Taharka Aboke Bey Documents the Day
  • 1.20.16 Mother Love Delivers a Short Speech
  • 1.20.17 Sheik Azeem Hopkins-Bey Reenacts a Demonstration Noble Drew Ali Performed to Demonstrate the Creation of the Moorish Nation
  • 1.20.18 Sister Noelle Price-El and Her Husband
  • 1.20.19 Prop for Demonstration
  • 1.20.20 Mother Love Hugs Young Boy
  • 1.20.21 Celebratory Cake
1.21 Moorish American Flag
Collection1 Image
  • 1.21.0 American Flag and Moorish Flag
1.22 Nationality Card
Collection2 Images
  • 1.22.0 Robert Webb-Bey's Nationality Card
  • 1.22.1 Identification card for the Moorish Science Temple of America, circa 1940
1.24 Moorish Children and Public Schools
Collection2 Images
  • 1.24.0 Observed Moslem Holiday Form for Schools
  • 1.24.1 Screenshot of Daughter's School Intake Form