JUMP THE BROOM CEREMONY
We end this ceremony with the African American tradition of jumping of the broom.
HISTORY (Can be stated):
The irony is that practice of jumping the broom was largely discarded after Emancipation in America which was consistent with the eventual fall of the Ashanti Confederacy in Ghana in 1897 and the coming of British customs. Jumping the Broom did survive in the Americas, especially in the United States, among slaves brought from the Asante (Ashanti) area. This particular Akan practice of jumping the broom was picked up by other African ethnic groups in the Americas and used to strengthen marriages during slavery among their communities.
Jumping the broom was not a custom of slavery, but is a part of African culture that survived American slavery. With slavery over and superficial hints of racial integration allowed, African-Americans could now have European-style marriages. During this time, jumping the broom fell out of practice from the stigma it carried, and in some cases still carries, among African Americans who wanted nothing to do with anything associated with that era. The practice survived, and made a resurgence since and after publication of Alex Haley's book "Roots."
Slaves in this country were not permitted to marry, so they jumped a broom as a way of ceremonially uniting. Today it represents great joy and at the same time serves as a reminder of the past and the pain of slavery.
Currently, many African and African American couples include jumping the broom at the end of their wedding ceremonies as a tribute to tradition. And even couples who do not actually jump a broom when they get married, often refer to, or at least recognize, the phrase to be synonymous with getting married in the same way most Americans associate "tying the knot" with getting married.
As our bride and groom jump the broom, they physically and spiritually cross the threshold into the land of matrimony. It marks the beginning of making a home together. It symbolizes the sweeping away of the old and the welcoming of the new; the sweeping away all negative energy, making way for all things that are good to come into your lives. It is also a call of support for the marriage from the entire community of family and friends. The bride and groom will now begin their new life together with a clean sweep!
One of the attendants then hands the broom to the groom, who makes sweeping gestures to eliminate any negative energies. The groom then hands the broom to the bride, who places it on the ground in their path.
Minister: Everyone count 1, 2, 3... Jump! ALL Together! 1, 2, 3... Jump!