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The Massachusetts Review

Harlem Book of the Dead ***

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The Harlem Book of the Dead with its photographs poems and text are more than representational reflections of mourning rites. They reveal the history of a time in Harlem now past when society cared for both the living and the dead in the belief that we must preserve a standard of pride representing order high in spiritual and temporal values. There is a purging of sorrow in the very pageantry of funerals. Carelessness about death might reflect carelessness about life. The examples of ritual as presented in this volume are as universal as death - and there are Harlem's everywhere.

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