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The Surprising History Of Death In America

Where did our current funeral rituals come from, and as they fall out of fashion, what will we replace them with?

Cemetery

L.A.-based mortician and author Caitlin Doughty thinks we’ve got a lot wrong about death. Image Source: Wikipedia

Humankind has always been fascinated with death. Where faith helps answer the question of where our spirits go when we die, the funeral helps solve the problem of where our bodies go upon death. In the United States, we have a fairly strict and chaste relationship with death — specifically with regard to the funeral — though there are a few key voices calling for reform. One of those voices, both online and off, is Los Angeles mortician and author Caitlin Doughty, who weighed in with ATI on the history of burial practices in America and the problems it faces today.


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Photo Of The Day: Stone Mountain Park, The Mount Rushmore Of The South, Sparks Controversy

Confederate Stone Mountain

Image Source: Wikipedia

Georgia’s Stone Mountain Park was once the site of the founding of the second Ku Klux Klan (in 1915) and is now home to the controversial rock relief depicting three Confederate leaders: Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. The massive Mount Rushmore-style tribute is known to have attracted white supremacists across the nation, while sparking rage among many who believe the park should be a memorial to the Civil War, not just the Confederacy.

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Police Officer Informs Drivers How To Run Over Black Lives Matter Marchers And Get Away With It

Police Comment

A screenshot by community activist Andrew Henderson of a post allegedly written by a St. Paul police officer.

Those critics of the Black Lives Matter movement who claim minorities receive fair and equal treatment from the police might want to rethink their stance. A St. Paul, Minn., police officer is on administrative leave after laying out how to legally run over BLM marchers on Martin Luther King Day in a Facebook post.

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Photo Of The Day: MLK Greets Fans After Receiving His 1964 Nobel Peace Prize

MLK Peace Prize

MLK greets fans upon receiving his Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. Image Source: Twitter/Smithsonian

52 years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made his way to Oslo, Norway, where he would receive a Nobel Peace Prize. At this point in his career, King — whose legacy we celebrate today — had already led the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott, helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to fight against segregation, and helped organize the 1963 nonviolent protests in Birmingham, Alabama and the “March on Washington,” where King delivered his timeless “I Have a Dream” speech.

While comparatively lesser known, King’s words in Oslo bear repeating. Some of the troubling themes King recounts — threats to voting rights, terror in houses of worship, interminable war and limits to economic opportunity — persist today. Many of his words, such as the fact that “Sooner or later all the people of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace…[and] the foundation of such a method is love,” still go unheeded.

You can read the entirety of King’s Nobel acceptance speech here.

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