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Funeral Pro Chat #4: Isaiah Owens on African-American Death Rituals

Sep 11, 2014

ASD recently teamed up with Funeral writer and media consultant, Nancy Burban, to launch Funeral Pro Chat, an exciting new Podcast series for funeral directors. The series will feature directors and experts discussing the latest funeral trends, news and customs.

This month, we are excited to feature Isaiah Owens of Owens Funeral Home. Isaiah is the subject and star of “Homegoings,” a film that uses his 58-year-long career and life as a funeral director to examine African-American death rituals. He spoke with Steven C Turner and Elleanor Davis Starks about his decades of experience working at the historic Owens Funeral Home in Harlem.

Listen now to hear Isaiah, Steven and Elleanor discuss the rarely seen world of undertaking in the black community, where funeral rites draw on a rich palette of tradition, history and celebration. Isaiah also shares stories about memorable cases he was involved with and discusses his experience during the filming of “Homegoings.”

Funeral Pro Chat was created to inform and enlighten funeral professionals on a range of subjects that interest them. Every month, two podcasts will be released online and on iTunes. Each podcast consists of an interview with a specially selected guest who will offer insight on a particular topic.

To hear the first Funeral Pro Chat podcast featuring Caleb Wilde, click here.
To hear the second Funeral Pro Chat podcast featuring Elleanor Davis Starks, click here.
To hear the third Funeral Pro Chat podcast featuring Debra Fry, click here.

To learn more about FuneralProChat, visit

Thanks for listening. Please leave us a comment and share your thoughts on the podcast with us.

About The Author

Jess Farren (Fowler)

Jess Farren (Fowler) is a Public Relations Specialist and Staff Writer who has been a part of the ASD team since 2003. Jess manages ASD’s company blog and has been published in several funeral trade magazines. She has written articles on a variety of subjects including communication, business planning, technology, marketing and funeral trends. You can contact Jess directly at

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