Death in Black and White: Death, Ritual and Family Ecology

Research output: Book/ReportBook


"Death in Black and White takes a behind-the-scenes look at contemporary funeral practices to discover what similarities and differences exist between African American and European American cultures' experience of dealing with death. The author charts the divergent origins of such rituals of mourning from pre-colonial Africa and Europe to the time in which these cultural traditions came into contact during the period of American slavery, and the degree of fusion and variation that persists up to the present day." "Based on a foundation of cultural theory and scholarship, the author explores a variety of issues related to race, culture and death ritual practices by immersing himself in the rich narratives and sources of information gleaned from his in-depth interviews with funeral directors, corporate funeral home representatives, clergy and individuals who have recently lost a loved one. Additionally, he has observed numerous funeral and burial services and cemetery landscapes, and has examined federal and state public policies surrounding burial and disposal, as well as other forms of death-related discourse. Ultimately, the book describes how death rituals both manifest and reinforce different cultural identities, and suggests that perhaps, it is through the experience of death that we might find the most enduring possibilities for promoting greater cultural understanding by maintaining rather than eliminating such differences."--Jacket
Original languageEnglish (US)
Place of PublicationCresskill, N.J
PublisherHampton Press
Number of pages190
ISBN (Print)9781572735255, 1572735252, 9781572735248, 1572735244
StatePublished - 2003

Publication series

NameCritical bodies


  • Funérailles - Rites et cérémonies - États-Unis
  • USA
  • United States
  • Noirs américains
  • Schwarze
  • African Americans
  • États-Unis
  • Brauchtum
  • Funeral rites and ceremonies
  • Américains d'origine européenne
  • États-Unis - Mœurs et coutumes
  • Funérailles
  • Bestattung
  • Américains d'origine européenne - Rites et cérémonies funéraires
  • Noirs américains - Rites et cérémonies funéraires
  • European Americans


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