Collection of 35 African American Funeral Programs [1960s-1980s]
Detroit, Michigan, 1962-1986. 35 programs distributed at the funerals of Black men and women in between 1962 and 1986. The programs all show general wear from handling, but are otherwise in very good condition. The majority (24) are for services held at the New Mt. Zion Missionary Church, located at 2201 Elmhurst. The Church was was founded in 1919 and remains at the same location today. Among this grouping is a program for the 1967 funeral of Dr. James Sullivan Williams, Sr., who was pastor at New Mt. Zion for more than 40 years.
There are also programs for members of several other Baptist churches (Warren Avenue, St. James, Elyton, Israel, Olivet, New Bethel) and of Greater Grace Temple, Fenkell Gospel Temple,
Greater Church/Christ Jesus, and Grace Temple Church of God in Christ.
All of the programs are similar in format, consisting of a single sheet folded once to make a 4-page booklet, with a photograph of the deceased on the front. Inside are an obituary and order of service (readings, hymns, eulogy, etc.), and the back lists the pallbearers, the funeral home, and the location of internment.
The obituaries provide interesting biographical details, including the deceased's date and location of birth (almost always in the South), date of settlement in Detroit, family members, role in the church, and occasional information about the person's work or military service.