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Food and Funerals Traditions Part 2 Mississippi

Food and Funerals Traditions Part 2 Mississippi

Serving Coffee circa 1935, Courtesy of The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

Serving Coffee circa 1935, Courtesy of The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

I have been going through my cash of WPA food sources from the Great Depression era found in the archives of the Library of Congress in Washington DC. What follows today and in moving forward are content from the Mississippi folder titled America Eats Notes, Reports, and Essays. I have attempted to produce the content in a paraphrased format when necessary to make them legible and indirect quotes as often as possible. This is a WPA story from Jackson Mississippi in which the writer describes African-Americans in that region as a group who prepares to depart this earth and style including serving an abundance of food to those who come to celebrate their life. Members of benevolent societies pay dues of 50 cents per month to ensure a proper burial in celebration of their lives when they die. The goal of the living is to have a $50 burial and turnout including plenty of good food to enjoy at the funeral. One’s benevolent society would furnish the food upon your death for the funeral. Foods such as ham and cheese sandwiches served with coffee to anyone who comes to the wake.

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