(Closed) White couple jumping the broom?

posted 10 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 17
Member
76 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

i dont see anything wrong with it, but i think it would be good to have a little paragraph about it in the program so people know it isn’t just “a black thing”.  

Post # 18
Member
90 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I have never thought of this as a racial issue but I am of celtic descent so I have seen this done many times in the past. Although, we are focusing more on my FI’s germanic roots.

Post # 19
Member
2492 posts
Buzzing bee

It’s common element of Wiccan weddings (most of whom are Caucasians and have no ties whatsoever to African-American heritage) and no one bats an eye at it in that context because it’s expected. I have read from a variety of sources that it was originally European and then was adopted by the African-Americans during Colonial times. In the context of the Wiccan handfasting (wedding), the broom is intended to sweep away the past.

Most people I know would never associate it as being an African-American tradition, and even those I do know who are African-American have never seen it done in their culture. Either way, I wouldn’t worry about it and no need to explain it to your guests.

I find it very difficult to believe that anyone will associate or tie the two together when a Caucasian couple is clearly not doing anything to mock slavery or whatever else might be construed by choosing to jump the broom since the custom belongs to more than one culture.

 

Post # 20
Member
168 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

Since you and your groom love the (modern) meanings and symbolism of jumping the broom, I say go for it. I would suggest having an explanation of the meanings/symbolism in the program so that people understand why you chose to incorporate it in your ceremony.

ETA – @NeileeB: Great minds think alike! 😉

Post # 21
Member
270 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

I think the issue is whether the ties to slavery have changed it’s cultural meaning to such an extent that you can no longer use it without having those connotations, even if you don’t want them.  Just like a certain word for being stingy is now so associated with a racial epithet that you really can’t use it without offending people, even if you didn’t mean it offensively.  If that makes any sense, lol.

It’s totally up to you guys and I don’t want to ruin it for you, but I think it’s worth considering whether you want these issues associated with your wedding.  Maybe there’s something else you can jump over that would have the same meaning for you?

Post # 22
Member
3631 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

It is older than slavery in the states anyway, as several other people have said, the tradition has roots in ancient Celt tradition too. I think especially if you have something explaining it then it would be lovely.

Post # 23
Member
3993 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

I agree that a small paragraph talking about sweeping away the past, etc, in your program would be lovely. Other than that, go for it.

Post # 24
Member
273 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

@little_ladybug:I realize JTB has other origins then slavery.  But, in the United States, and more specifically, in the South, unfortunately the ties are to slavery. I think if you want to JTB, do it, but please be sensitive to your guests and their feelings.  I think 

View original reply
AmeliaBedelia‘s idea about putting something in the program about it sweeping away the past and the reasons your doing is a great idea.  

Oh, I live in a small town and growing up the KKK attacked the school several times and racial tensions have always been high (which my best friend was a black girl and she was part of my family so racial bigots can suck my big toe) that’s why it would not be a good thing for a white couple to JTB in my town, but your town might be completely different.  That’s why I say be sensitive to who will be at your wedding.  

Post # 25
Member
6414 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2012

I was raised Wiccan by my mother and she bought me books on Wicca constantly. She got me a book on Wiccan/Pagan and other Natural Weddings and the broom was involved in tons of different ways… 

“Many witches, wiccans and pagans are already familiar with the usage of the broom as a symbolic way of sweeping out old energies and clearing away negativity. This is also a great usage of it in a wedding, and helps the couple to come together with a “clean slate.”

Post # 26
Member
308 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

I’m asking for an honest answer here because I HAVE NOT done independent reseach on the subject.  Is Jumping the broom a “slavery” issue, or is is an african tradition? Sometimes it seems like the two get confused.  I was told (not credible really) that it was an african tradition, but I wasn’t sure if that was correct or not.

I think a white person NOT being able to jump the broom is just as hypocritical as saying no one but a jew can get married under and arbor-like structure that resembles what jews call a chuppah.  Do you get what I’m saying? You make it what you want it to be.  If you think its a nice part of the ceremony DO IT!

Post # 27
Member
15 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: November 2012

I personally find it to be disrespectful for non Black/African American couples to partake in the ceremony due to the history behind it. This is an African tribal marriage ritual of placing sticks on the ground representing the couple’s new home together, and the spray of the broom represents all of us scattered and the handle represents the almighty who holds us together. You see, during the slave “transitions” we were not allowed to practice many of the traditional rituals of our past therefore, much of our heritage was lost during this time.  So this broom ceremony represents the joining of two families, it’s showing respect and pays homage to those who came before us and paved the way. In a nutshell “Broom Jumping” is a ritual, handed down from generation to generation as a symbol for Black/African Americans of a time when our vows were not legal because we were slaves and weren’t considered to be human beings.

Post # 28
Member
2203 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I don’t see how this is a good idea. I’d find something else that isn’t going to be insensitive or offend your guests. 

Post # 29
Member
160 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2022

Beautiful Idea, I think you should do what makes you happy, Sweeping away the past and jumping into the future.. I like the idea of a note in the program as well

Post # 30
Member
30 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: March 2012

I personally like the idea and never even heard of it being tied to race until that movie came out. I think mainly African Americans think of it in the context of slavery. Since it originated well before then and slavery has been over for many, many years, I don’t see a problem with bringing it back to its original context. Don’t get me wrong, slavery was a terrible, terrible thing. But, I don’t think we should get rid of traditions in their entirety because of one negative connotation. Now, I can see why it would be terrible and hurtful if you and your FH were members of the KKK and were doing it at your wedding; that would be completely ridiculous and uncalled for. However, if you are doing it in its original context, jump on! Good luck!

Post # 31
Member
109 posts
Blushing bee

I understand that there are many other outliers that can not be controlled, for example the feelings of guests at the wedding. But I think even if it is widely known to be an African American cultural/religious gesture, we should not discourage sharing these traditions with people of different colour and or cultural backgrounds. I would try to see it more as a comemorative symbol than a dig at a specific culture. I think racism and poor ettiqutte in general is more about the degrading of someone or something rather than someone genuinly wanting to embrace a tradition that at its core truely represents a new beginning and happy occasion. You should be able to incorporate this into your wedding while still being sensitive to any negative connotations it may hold for your guests. 

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