African-American Funeral Homes in the USA














 
 
 
 

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African-American Funeral Homes in the USA

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In the United States there is a rich cultural heritage of black owned and operated funeral homes.  Indeed black funeral parlors were some of the first businesses to be set up by African-Americans after the abolition of slavery.

How do you locate an African-American owned and operated funeral home?

Often at US Funerals Online we see searches come in for a “black funeral home in city”, which demonstrates how there definitely is still some aspect of segregation in cultural rituals and the ritual of death care is no different.

The question is, how does one either promote being a ‘black’ funeral home, or locate one, in an era when mentioning ‘black’ is not PC?  Many African-American owned and operated funeral homes will openly acknowledge that they are a “black funeral home”, and obviously there are certain areas in the United States where it is expected that black funeral homes operate.

But for those who need to communicate this message implicitly to their customers, how is it easily conveyed?  It is usually fairly easy to identify Jewish funeral homes as the Star of David acts symbolically. In the age of image saturation, a visual cue is a key means by which many black funeral homes clearly communicate their cultural heritage.

The death care industry is still one that operates distinctly on a word-of-mouth basis.  Families seek out the funeral home that has served their family over time, or people refer a funeral home to the recently bereaved.  Unfortunately not everyone has the benefit of having a ‘family’ funeral home, or people are choosing to shop around more, being more concerning about funeral costs.

If you are looking to locate a ‘black’ funeral home then the Internet is a great means by which to conduct your research.  These days’ funeral homes with web sites frequently employ photographs of their owners and staff to communicate their African-American heritage.

There is also a national association of funeral directors that is specifically comprised of African-American funeral homes.  The National Funeral Directors & Morticians Association (NFD&MA) is based in Georgia and has been in existence since 1924.  The NFD&MA has chapters across the U.S, Caribbean and South Africa.

If you require more information about funeral homes in the NFD&MA, they can be contacted at:

National Funeral Directors & Morticians Association, Inc. 
6290 Shannon Parkway 
Union City 
GA 30291 
Tel: 800.434.0958
 

Expert Author: Sara J. Marsden

Sara is the Editor in Chief for US Funerals Online and has been researching and writing about the death care industry in the US for the last 5 years.

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Last Revised:  03/05/2013
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