Ellison, Keith M.
- Daryl A. Carter
congressman and the first Muslim to serve in the U.S. Congress, was born Keith Maurice Ellison in Detroit, Michigan, the third of five sons Clida Ellison, a social worker, and Leonard Ellison, a psychiatrist. The Ellison family was upwardly mobile, part of the rising black professional class of the post–World War II era, which sought to increase African American participation in the nation's civic life. His parents and his grandfather were active in the civil rights movement. Ellison graduated from the University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy in 1981 There he got his first taste of politics participating in student government In addition Ellison was active in sports Following his graduation he enrolled at Wayne State University in Detroit Michigan Ellison s time in college was transformational as he dispensed with the Roman Catholicism of his youth and converted to Islam This choice reflected the ...
A version of this article originally appeared in African American National Biography.