While this is out of the scope of what I do on this blog I just want to rant about this. I have been to two weddings where the couple jumps the broom. I don't know when black couples started doing this (which may be after Roots aired in the 1970s). However, it is done so that black folks may have a connection to their enslaved ancestors.
Apparently jumping the broom was a symbolic gesture and since slaves in America were nothing more than farm animals marriage between slaves were not considered legal. In additon slaves were not afforded a Christian wedding so what replace was the sybolism of jumping a broom, which represents the joining of two families. As I understand while this tradition is considered uniquely black American it also has also been adopted by neo-pagans. It is also possible that this ritual had been adopted from an African ritual of laying sticks on the gound which represents the couple's new home together.
What is my problem? This is the one thing I won't do. My brother when he got married didn't want to do it, but did it because it was what his bride wanted. I suppose I see this as just another meaningless tradition and perhaps a little dehumanizing because it is a result of a very hurtful period in American history. I know that the black ladies seem to love it, but if I ever had to do it, I will break the broom and yes I will pay for it. I'd rather walk out of the sanctuary as a man.
Jumping the broom (Wikipedia)
Jumping the broom (African-Weddings.com)