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24 Couples Who Honored Their History And Jumped The Broom

"1, 2, 3...jump!"

1. If you've ever attended a black wedding, you may have seen the couple "jump the broom."

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2. Though historians disagree on the exact roots of this tradition, many believe it was part of African culture before becoming part of African-American slave culture.

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3. According to the African-American Registry, the broom as a wedding symbol originated in Ghana.

4. It "symbolized sweeping away past wrongs or removing evil spirits."

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5. At weddings, the broom was often waved over the heads of the couple, and they sometimes jumped over it at the end of the ceremony.

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6. The ritual continued in the American South during slavery.

7. Enslaved people were often not permitted to marry.

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8. According to the book Life in Black and White: Family and Community in the Slave South, when they did marry, they had informal weddings.

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9. Jumping over a broom was a way to symbolically represent their union.

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10. Brenda E. Stevenson writes that it was one way enslaved people created new rituals.

11. Even if their marriage wasn’t recognized by whites, it was a way for black people to legitimize their meaningful relationships.

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12. For modern couples, jumping the broom represents great joy and at the same time is a reminder of a painful past.

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13. Couples may choose a simple broom…

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14. Or a beautifully decorated one.

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15. They might make it themselves...

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16. Or just buy one on Etsy.

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17. And many couples hang the broom in their home after the wedding.

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18. Jumping the broom marks the beginning of making a home together.

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19. It symbolizes the sweeping away of the old and the welcoming of the new.

20. And makes way for all of the good things to come in their life together.

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21. It's also a request for their community’s support of their marriage.

22. At the end of the ceremony, the officiant can invite all the wedding guests to count down...

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23. "One, two, three..."

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24. "JUMP!"

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