Burr Oak Memorial
The Burr Oak Cemetery Memorial Monument will honor all who are laid to rest at the historic African-American cemetery and represent the respect and dignity the community has for their families and loved ones. The monument will also serve as a reminder of the notable African Americans buried at Burr Oak Cemetery, including jazz legends Dinah Washington, boxing champion Ezzard Charles, Negro League ballplayers, civil rights icon Emmett Till, and many more honorable African-Americans.
The Burr Oak Cemetery Memorial Project has garnered support from notable community leaders and organizations. The Burr Oak Memorial Dedication Committee members also have many loved ones buried at Burr Oak.
Burr Oak Memorial Dedication Committee Members:
Patricia Brown Holmes – Judge Holmes is the court-appointed Burr Oak Trustee who will lead the efforts to revitalize this historic resting place. Judge Holmes is a retired Cook County Judge and now a partner in a major Chicago law firm. She also has very strong ties to Burr Oak Cemetery. Judge Holmes’ father and brother are buried at Burr Oak Cemetery.
Rasheda Ali-Walsh – Ms. Ali-Walsh, an internationally known author and speaker, is a twin daughter of boxing great Muhammad Ali, who was close friends with Ezzard Charles. Ms. Ali’s insightful book on Parkinson’s disease received international acclaim. She is also an advisory board member to Brainstorm Cell Therapeutics, a biotech company. Rasheda is a member of Screen Actors Guild and The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. She has served as host, writer and producer for her own celebrity-access talk show in Las Vegas.
Jeff Yarbrough – Jeff is a product of the Chicago Public Schools system and has excelled throughout his educational career. He received his undergraduate degree from Northwestern University and his master’s degree from Dominican University. He is a recent Teach For America alum who educates young minds every day at Chicago Bulls College Prep.
Jessie White, Illinois Secretary of State
John O’Sullivan – Liaison to local government officials
Andrea Zopp – President and CEO, Chicago Urban League
Leak & Sons Funeral Homes
Kenny Williams Sr. – VP/GM Chicago White Sox
Chris Welch – President, Maywood Board of Education
Napoleon Harris – Owner, Beggar’s Pizza
Peter Troost Monument Company, SL1 Group
Father George Clements – Liaison to religious community leaders
Dr. Jeremy Krock – Director of the Negro Leagues Baseball Grave Marker Project
Ezzard M. Charles II – Son of Heavyweight Champion Ezzard Charles
Deborah Charles – Daughter of Heavyweight Champion Ezzard Charles
Airickca Gordon Taylor – Founder, Mamie Till Mobley Memorial Foundation
Dr. Nicole E. Williams – Women’s Health Institute of Illinois.
The Gayle Sayers Center
Dennis McKinnon – President/CEO Bearly Active Productions