What is the origin of white mourning clothes in African-American culture?

What is the origin of white mourning clothes in African-American culture?


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I've noticed that in pictures from the funerals of George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks, a large number of attendees are wearing white. I've found a few resources online that suggest this is a specifically African-American tradition, but I'd like to know about its origins and the reasons behind it. Where did this tradition originate?

Some of my sources:

Forum post

Rayshard Brooks's funeral (in the photos of his family, not of the pallbearers)

George Floyd's funeral

I have also found mentions in the "Encyclopedia of Cross-cultural Psychology" but I'm having trouble pulling it up on mobile and will add it when I can later.


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