Undertakers in Detroit

As with many prominent Black businesses in Detroit, the most well-known funeral homes began in Black Bottom. While named for the rich soil, Black Bottom was also home to the majority of African Americans in Detroit prior to the construction of the freeways. This made it the perfect place to locate businesses that would serve that population.

The Great Migration brought even more Blacks to Detroit, and with them came many southern traditions, as well as many of the men and women who would go on to create the funeral homes of Detroit. Without this migration of Southern migration, the rich culture that is exceptional to black funeral homes would not be so vibrant in Detroit.

While it would be easy to group these directors into the same migrant story, instead I have compiled a few of their individual stories: how they came into the business, what they have done for their communities, and the legacy they have left on Detroit.