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The Florida Folklife Reader$
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Tina Bucuvalas

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9781617031403

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781617031403.001.0001

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“The Rest Is Up to You and Me”

“The Rest Is Up to You and Me”

Sunday Morning Band and Ritual Identity in the Florida Panhandle

Chapter:
(p.225) “The Rest Is Up to You and Me”
Source:
The Florida Folklife Reader
Author(s):

Jerrilyn Mcgregory

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781617031403.003.0014

African Americans have ritualized social relationships into a repetitious cycle by forming organizations such as the Sunday Morning Band (SMB), a secret society that traces its roots to 1868. The SMB and other African American burial societies administer to the distressed and help bury the dead, including proper internment and mourning. The SMB’s history is tied to the annual Turn Out, or anniversary program, whose purpose is to honor new initiates along with the recently departed and, ultimately, to recruit. A number of similar organizations exist in the Wiregrass region, which encompasses parts of the Florida Panhandle, southeast Alabama, and south Georgia, from the Loyal Americans to Independent Bands I & II, the International Benevolent Society, and the 9th of Moses. This chapter, which documents the SMB tradition in the Florida Panhandle, first provides a historical background on the SMB before turning to a discussion of the customary organizational leadership pattern among African Americans.

Keywords:   burial societies, African Americans, Sunday Morning Band, internment, mourning, Turn Out, Wiregrass region, Florida Panhandle, organizational leadership, burial

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