Contributions by Allan Amanik, Kelly B. Arehart, Sue Fawn Chung, Kami Fletcher, Rosina Hassoun, James S. Pula, Jeffrey E. Smith, and Martina Will de Chaparro
Till Death Do Us Part: American Ethnic Cemeteries as Borders Uncrossed explores the tendency among most Americans to separate their dead along communal lines rooted in race, faith, ethnicity, or social standing and asks what a deeper exploration of that phenomenon can tell us about American history more broadly.
Comparative in scope, and regionally diverse, chapters look to immigrants, communities of color, the colonized, the enslaved, rich and poor, and religious minorities as they buried kith and kin in locales spanning the Northeast to the Spanish American Southwest. Whether African Americans, Muslim or Christian Arabs, Indians, mestizos, Chinese, Jews, Poles, Catholics, Protestants, or various whites of European descent, one thing that united these Americans was a drive to keep their dead apart. At times, they did so for internal preference. At others, it was a function of external prejudice.
Invisible and institutional borders built around and into ethnic cemeteries also tell a powerful story of the ways in which Americans have negotiated race, culture, class, national origin, and religious difference in the United States during its formative centuries.