Jumping the Broom

They Were Told No

They were told no
Over and over
They were not allowed—
No, is a worthless answer
Given by a worthless cause
To someone perceived as worthless--

Laws were unjust
Legality held no merit
The system is broken--
And they were told no
Over and over
Regardless of the question...

But an earthly no
Is surpassed by a heavenly yes
And they refused to be broken--
No cannot stop love,
No cannot stop truth,
No did not stop the bonding of souls.

Image from Jumping the Broom Eliza, a company that makes custom brooms for wedding ceremonies.

The History of Jumping the Broom

The origin of jumping the broom is debated by some, but many will say was born of a wedding tradition in Ghana in which bridal brooms are waved over the couple's head after the ceremony. In the US, the tradition of jumping the broom began during slavery. During that time, slaves were not permitted to legally marry, thus jumping the broom was their way of announcing that they were married and starting a new life together.

Present day, many blacks (and even other cultures) continue this tradition by jumping the broom at the close of their wedding ceremony (or the beginning of the reception). Brooms may be ornately decorated or plain and simple. For many, continuing the tradition is a reminder of the hardships our ancestors endured and symbolic of overcoming those hardships. Others choose not to include the tradition in their ceremony. The 2011 movie Jumping the Broom, named after the tradition, features the showdown between a bride who does not want to jump the broom and a mother-in-law who insists the couple should.


  1. Ka-Veronica Braddy. "Here's our take on 'Jumping the Broom'". African American Bridal; visited 2014
  2. "Here's the tangled history behind why some couples jump over a broom at their wedding". Insider. April 2017
  3. Rachel Wilkerson Miller. "24 Couples Who Honored Their Heritage and Jumped the Broom". BuzzFeed. February 20, 2015
  4. Chelsey Pippin. "Wedding Traditions From Around the Globe". Buzzfeed. November 4, 2014

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Author Image Author Image I love reading the Word of God. With prayer God's Word reveals so much: from comfort to temperance, from perspective to affirmation. Digging into the depths of the Word, cross-referencing history, language and time differences, is a passion of mine. In March of 2015 I decided to go back through the Bible doing an in depth study on each section I read. Eventually I decided to share my journal of notes as I partake in this journey. I hope you are blessed by God and inspired to pursue a deeper relationship with Him. I love reading and learning about God, nature, and science. I am interested in how it all connects. The Creator's fingerprints are all over his creation. We can learn so much about Him and how we came to be by exploring the world around us. Join me as I explore the world and draw closer to the One who created it all.
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