Ali Salahuddin, a longtime Philadelphia businessman and community activist, died on Thursday, July 22, 2021. Salahuddin was 74.
Salahuddin founded Superior Food Company and its subsidiaries — Shabazz Steak and Take, The Munchies and Bilal Brand Seafood. He was also the co-founder of the Garden of Bilal Restaurant.
Along with his wife, Helen Salahuddin, he founded the African Genesis Institute, a 27-month educational and cultural program for youth between the ages of 7 and 14 focused on developing an understanding and awareness of the African experience in America. The program had chapters in 12 cities across the country and has taken more than 4,000 youth and adults to Senegal, the Gambia and Ghana, West Africa and Egypt since 1998.
In recent years, Salahuddin and Michael Rashid co-founded the Pennsylvania Juneteenth Initiative, which produces the Philadelphia Juneteenth Parade and Festival. During the past four years, the parade has grown to be the largest in the nation, drawing more than 25,000 attendees and 2,000 participants.
Salahuddin, also known as Phillip Dixon, was born on Feb. 4, 1947, in Philadelphia, the oldest son of the late Horace Dixon and Bertha McLemore Dixon. He received his education in Philadelphia. He was preceded in death by his younger brother, Radi Dixon.
He graduated from Howard University School of Business in 1970 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. At Howard, he pledged Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.
In his senior year at Howard, he joined the Nation of Islam. After graduation, he returned to Philadelphia and became the minister of the West Philadelphia Mosque 12 C and business manager for the Delaware Valley. In addition, he was a lifetime member of the NAACP.
Salahuddin helped thousands of Black children access their history and travel experiences that were transformational.
Salahuddin is survived by his wife, Helen; his daughters Shariah (Rick) and Kamilah; his son Jamal; stepchildren Sonni (Jabbar) and Shae; grandchildren Tariq, Hassan, Imani, Jasmine, Nyla and Carsen; and other relatives and friends.
A Janazah is planned with a public memorial service within a few weeks. In lieu of flowers, the family asks for any donations to go to the African Genesis Institute. Donations can be sent to P.O. Box 682, Glenside, PA 19038 or on the website, africangenesis2.org