A Wedding Artifact

A Wedding Artifact:

J.S.: “I cannot recall seeing, so much as hearing about certain artifacts that have been a part of my cultural folklore. The first artifact that comes to mind is a broom that would be used in wedding ceremonies. I remember my mother talking about “jumping the broom” at parent’s wedding. To this day she doesn’t know where the broom is. I have even seen a picture of family friends jumping over a broom at the doors of the church at the end of the church service for their wedding. My paternal grandmother, or E’ah, would tell me that jumping the broom was a tradition dating back to slavery, when black slaves technically could not be married, because marriage was a civil contract, and civil contracts could only be entered into by free persons. The couple would jump over a broom at the conclusion of their wedding service, usually held where the slaves would gather for worship. It has some connection to west-African traditions, though my grandmother never elaborated much more than that.”

J.S. explains here his experience concerning artifacts of folklore in his life, especially one that pertains to a wedding ritual. He reflects upon this ritual fondly, despite not knowing where the broom is at present. Jumping the broom is something he regards to be an African American tradition that is even supposed to have roots back to West Africa itself.