(Closed) Jumping the Broom…Slave tradition or African tradition?

posted 9 years ago in African-American
Post # 3
117 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

I know it’s not a Nigerian culture….Maybe another African culture??? On second thoughts, i was watching the movie” the help” and the Mother-In-Law mentioned something about how the slaves came up with it because they were not allowed to be married. It may still be rooted in some African cultures, but definitely not Nigerian.

Post # 4
1987 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

As a Nigerian person, it’s definitely not a Nigerian practice. In the research I’ve done and other West African cultures that I’m familiar with, it’s not a West African practice. Maybe in South African or East African, but knowing those cultures, I doubt.

As far as I know, it’s a African AMERICAN tradition

Post # 6
196 posts
Blushing bee

It’s originally a Romani/Eastern European custom that spread to England/Scotland and eventually the African American community in the US.  I don’t think anyone is completely sure how it made the jump to different locations.

Post # 7
878 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I have only ever known jumping the besom (broom) as a celtic tradition.  Only more recently (since watching american reality TV) have I heard of it with a slave connection.

Post # 9
2239 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

View original reply
@HueysLuda:  According to wikipedia it started in wales/scotland…not ghana. I’m not sure I would trust a blogspot. Not that wikipedia is the best, but it’s pretty accurate.

Post # 10
605 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

View original reply
@kate169: Yup, that is why I said that it may have started in Ghana.

Post # 12
2441 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

Slaves were not allowed to legally marry.  Jumping the broom was all that they had.  It wasn’t something the slave owners forced them to do.  It was the only way a slave man and a slave woman could express their love and commitment to one another.  I don’t think that is a bad thing that slaves found some way to have a dignified union.

We jumped the broom after our ceremony.  DH wanted us to use an undecorated homemade broom in an attempt to do it the way they likely had to do it to honor our ancestors who were oppressed through slavery.  (I did throw a bow on there though!)

Post # 15
68 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I don’t look at it as slave culture, more like the way our ancestors were only able to show their marriage.  Slaves were not allowed to marry, so jumping the broom was a way that they showed their union.  I prefer to jump the broom than mixing sand and lighting a unity candle.  I guess its up to each person’s interpretation and what it means to them. 

Post # 16
1488 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I am going to jump the broom as a family tradition and I would say do what you feel is best for you


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