Lee Ward - The Final Sendoff: African-American Funeral Homes

Lee Ward, owner of the Museum of Funeral History in Independence, discusses 150 years of African American funeral homes and the black community’s historic emphasis on end-of-life rituals.
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
6:30pm @ Central Library

Lee Ward, owner of the Museum of Funeral History in Independence, discusses 150 years of African-American funeral homes, which in the decades of segregation provided the black community with end-of-life services denied by white businesses. Among the names of these enterprises were those of T.B. Watkins, Adkins, Kerford, and H.B. Moore.

So important were the proper rites of death to black families, Ward says, that even healthy teenagers would begin saving funds with which to pay for their eventual funerals and burials. Those without means held home funerals ... and sometimes practiced home embalming.

Co-sponsored by the Kansas City Museum.