Built for the Living: African American Funeral Homes on the Tennessee Landscape

dc.contributor.advisor West, Carroll
dc.contributor.author Miller, Brad Reed
dc.contributor.committeemember McCusker, Kristine
dc.contributor.department History en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2015-12-18T19:09:13Z
dc.date.available 2015-12-18T19:09:13Z
dc.date.issued 2015-08-19
dc.description.abstract African American funeral homes are an understudied part of the historic built environment that provide a unique window into the African American experience from Reconstruction to the present. The extant funeral homes of Tennessee today emerged on the landscape following World War One, but stem from a longer history of professionalization in the funeral business starting in the 1880s. African American funeral homes were expressions of entrepreneurial spirit and cultural responsibility forged in the midst of Jim Crow segregation to serve communities in their toughest times of loss.
dc.description.abstract The adapted and purpose-built buildings that served as funeral homes became deliberate physical statements that bordered the white and black communities and anchored neighborhoods, serving as an integral space for the needs of the community. Specific case studies of African American funeral businesses in Maury and Rutherford Counties highlight the buildings and their location on the landscape that made funeral homes a community asset for stability and pride. Today, these funeral homes—operational and no longer open—serve as effective tools for understanding the segregated past and require heightened attention from historians and historic preservationists to capture their stories.
dc.description.degree M.A.
dc.identifier.uri http://jewlscholar.mtsu.edu/handle/mtsu/4732
dc.publisher Middle Tennessee State University
dc.subject African American
dc.subject Funeral Home
dc.subject Historic Preservation
dc.subject Jim Crow
dc.subject Tennessee
dc.subject.umi History
dc.subject.umi Black history
dc.subject.umi Architecture
dc.thesis.degreegrantor Middle Tennessee State University
dc.thesis.degreelevel Masters
dc.title Built for the Living: African American Funeral Homes on the Tennessee Landscape
dc.type Thesis
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