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Empress Verdiacee Tiari  uncovered hidden history

Empress Verdiacee  COURTESY PHOTO

Empress Verdiacee

By Steve Furay
Special to the Michigan Citizen

Her Highness Verdiacee Tiari Washitaw Turner Goston El-Bey, the empress of the Washitaw de Dugdahmoundyah Empire and leader of the Emperial Washitaw Nation of Muurs, made her transition in April 2014, completing the lifetime of a matriarch who was celebrated around the world.

In her time, Empress Verdiacee was a published author, archivist, historian, international diplomat, mayor, judge, business woman and community leader, tirelessly working for the legacy of the Washitaw nation — as the oldest civilized peoples of North America — to be restored in the history books.

“She established for people in America — call them Black, African, Moors, (Negro, Colored, African American), whatever you want to call them — the fact that long before the Indians came here, long before they imported these slaves from Africa, or before any European explorers came here, the United States and North America was populated by a group of people called the Muurs, and in Western society they call them the ‘Mound Builders,’” says Dr. R.A. Umar Shabazz Bey, ambassador of the Washitaw Empire and close colleague of Empress Verdiacee.

The mounds built by the Washitaw Moors are found throughout the United States, including Michigan and the Metro Detroit area. Most have been desecrated, designated as play hills in public parks, or were appropriated as forts by the U.S. military long ago. Their continued presence, however, in such cases as Poverty Point in Louisiana and Serpent Mound in Ohio, is evidence of a legacy nearly lost to history.

Empress Verdiacee is survived by family, including her son, Fredix Joe Washington, and grandchildren, Fredix N. Washington, Wendy Farica Washington and Eric Washington; Queen Mother Sarah Washington El-Bey, the niece of the empress and resident of Detroit, with her children Antonio L.E. Washitaw El-Bey, Minister of Information for the Washitaw Empire, and Lawrence Estes Bey.

Her book, “Return of the Ancient Ones,” is the culmination of her award-winning work as an archivist, detailing the history of the Washitaw Nation of Muurs and how land titles belonging to her people stretched across North America, encompassing the land that was involved in the Louisiana Purchase.

“The Empress brought out a revelation of history,” says Dr. Shabazz Bey. “A lot of people came to her and said ‘you have filled in missing pieces of the puzzle,’ because she talked about the civilizations that were here before the explorers or invasions from where ever they came from.”

Empress Verdiacee Her work as an international ambassador involved traveling overseas to the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, where she participated in the proceedings that led to the adoption of the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, holding seat number 215, which was ratified by President Obama in 2010.

She held council with multiple U.S. Presidents, including Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter and Richard Nixon.

Empress Verdiacee was preceded in death by her grandmother, Delphi Kimm Washington-Washitaw, born in 1850 and passing in 1967, popularly known as the Black Empress Cajun Queen. She was a beloved figure, and her work is credited as the foundation upon which Empress Verdiacee began her scholarly research of the history of the Washitaw lands and how they were taken from their rightful owners, evidenced by legal documents included in the book “Return of the Ancient Ones.”

Many of those documents were painstakingly retrieved over the years, hidden in records departments of court rooms and libraries across the country. In 1983, her work led to the State of Louisiana filing suit in the United States Supreme Court against the Western Reserve Historical Society, located in Ohio, for the return of historic land surveys of Louisiana.

The Empress taught what is needed is the facilitation of restorative justice for the peoples whose history was nearly lost through time.

“The truth is out here, it’s just not promoted and propagated on the front page of information,” says Dr. Shabazz Bey. “The history of the Washitaw has been talked about often, but a lot of people try to belittle it and demean it.

“They try to demean the empress, because the empress is really a threat to a lot of people in power. And the concept of Black people having been here before Indians frightens the people who have tried to retain us in the role of African Americans, they brought us here from Africa.”


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