Virus claims Black morticians, leaving holes in communities

virus claims black morticians leaving holes in communities

Sumary of Virus claims Black morticians, leaving holes in communities:

  • (AP) — When the last mourners departed and funeral director Shawn Troy was left among the headstones, he wept alone.
  • For five decades, the closing words at countless funerals in this town of 4,400 had been delivered by his father, William Penn Troy Sr.
  • Now the elder Troy was gone, one of many Black morticians claimed by a pandemic that has taken an outsized toll on African Americans, after months of burying its victims.
  • And as Shawn Troy stepped forward to speak in place of a man well known beyond his trade — for his work in county politics and advocacy of its Black citizens — the emptiness felt overwhelming.
  • Since the start of the pandemic, about 130 Black morticians have died from COVID-19, according to the association that represents them.
  • But the National Funeral Directors Association, which represents the broader industry, said it has not seen a corresponding rise in COVID deaths among its members.
  • The deaths of Black morticians are particularly notable because of the prominent role they have long played in many communities.
  • Often admired for their success in business, a number have been elected to political office, served as local power brokers, and helped fund civil rights efforts.

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