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Black StudiesAfrican-American burial and embalming rituals, funeral services and undertaking industry are all examined in Passed On: African American Mourning Stories, a cultural analysis of death and dying among 20th-century black Americans. Duke University English professor Karla F.C. Holloway combines historical research with interviews of present-day undertakers and others as she chronicles the discrimination and violent threats faced by black funeral parlor owners; the development of rituals like open-casket services and processions; and the influence of disproportionately violent black deaths on mourning practices. Punctuated with Holloway's personal stories (including that of her son's death), the book is an elegantly written survey for general readers and cultural historians alike.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Holloway shares her research into the seldom-explored subject of death and dying in the African American community. Confining her investigation to contemporary mourning rituals, she interviewed countless numbers of funeral directors, ministers, casket makers, physicians, and bereaved friends and relatives. By interweaving these conversations with visits to the gravesites of prominent black Americans and examples of death and grief as portrayed in literature, music, and the media, she provides an in-depth analysis of the unique psychology of death prevalent in African American society. According to the author, African Americans live more closely and deal more realistically with the philosophical concept and physical reality of death than do most other Americans. This close association with grief and tragedy has culminated in a number of distinctive religious and secular ceremonies and traditions that are examined in this fascinating sociological survey. Margaret Flanagan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.