Kendal Wade has become known in the Washington, D.C., area as a candidate for political office and law enforcement officer but recently became a funeral home owner in the District.
Wade practices mortuary science at the Kendal Wade Funeral Home & Cremation Services LLC and says serving customers has become a ministry for him.
Wade’s business launch comes at a bumpy time for African Americans in the funeral industry. According to a Sept. 14 Black Enterprise website posting — “Black Morticians Dying at Record Numbers Because of COVID-19 Creating Voids in their Communities– about 130 morticians have died from the coronavirus.
Additionally, Black-owned funeral establishments in the District such as Hall Brothers Funeral Homes, Latney’s Funeral Home and Austin Royster Funeral Home have shut down. He said Black funeral home directors face problems similar to those confronting many African American entrepreneurs including access to capital and being affiliated with an unpopular industry “that no one wants to be seen with.”
“People need funeral homes but that doesn’t mean that they want to see one on their block,” he said. “They consider it an eyesore.”
Wade often encounters customers and competitors who cite his youth, 34, as a weakness in an
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