African American Grief is a unique contribution to the field, both as a professional resource for counselors, therapists, social workers, clergy, and nurses, and as a reference volume for thanatologists, academics, and researchers. This work considers the potential effects of slavery, racism, and white ignorance and oppression on the African American experience and conception of death and grief in America. Based on interviews with 26 African-Americans who have faced the death of a significant person in their lives, the authors document, describe, and analyze key phenomena of the unique African-American experience of grief. The book combines moving narratives from the interviewees with sound research, analysis, and theoretical discussion of important issues in thanatology as well as topics such as the influence of the African-American church, gospel music, family grief, medical racism as a cause of death, and discrimination during life and after death.

chapter 1|6 pages

Grief and Life Span

chapter 2|12 pages

Racism as a Cause of Death

chapter 4|14 pages

Visitations, Wakes, and Funerals

chapter 6|8 pages

How People Talked about Grief

chapter 7|12 pages

Grief Soon after the Death

chapter 8|16 pages

Meaning Making

chapter 9|6 pages

Grief Over the Long Run

chapter 10|18 pages

The Family Grief Process

chapter 11|12 pages


chapter 12|10 pages

Being Strong in Grief

chapter 13|12 pages

Continuing Contact with the Deceased

chapter 16|6 pages

Understanding African American Grief