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DC loses black-owned funeral parlor to gentrification, death

September 9, 2019

WASHINGTON (AP) — A black-owned funeral parlor in Washington, D.C., was handling up to 140 funerals per year during its peak from the 1950s through the 1980s.

The Washington Post reports the Hall Brothers Funeral Home only handled four funerals last year, the number driven low by clientele who either died or were driven out by gentrification. The parlor’s owner, 77-year-old Richard Ables, says of the neighborhood: “If we saw a white person, we’d ask, ‘What are you doing here?’ Now it’s the opposite.”

Ables sold the property housing the dying business Wednesday, nearly 80 years after it was founded by his uncles. The newspaper notes the parlor was the last of its kind along its corridor, which is now home to an increasing number of young, white professionals.

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Information from: The Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com

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