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What is the True Meaning Behind Jumping The Broom?

Jumping the Broom is often practiced at African-American weddings; however, throughout the years the meaning behind jumping the broom has been misconstrued. As I was browsing the Internet, I found this great African-American Wedding website, http://www.african-weddings.com/ that explains the meaning behind jumping the broom.

"Jumping the Broom" is a symbol of sweeping away the old and welcoming the new, or a symbol of new beginnings.

Jumping the broom has become one of the most popular African traditions at weddings-traditional and African-centered. History tells us that the ancestral roots of this ritual began deep in the heart of Africa. It's original purpose and significance has been lost over the years because of the association with slavery.
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. Therefore it should be practiced with honor for your ancestors and the beauty of our rich heritage. 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. However, a few were considered harmless and allowed. Today "Broom Jumping" is a ritual, handed down from generation to generation to remind us of a time when our vows were not legally sanctioned. During slavery, our ancestors sought the legitimacy of marriage by jumping over the broom and into the bonds of domesticity. For our ancestors, this small ritual was a legal and bonding act connecting them with the heritage of the home land and giving legitimacy,dignity and strength to their unions. In there eyes this union was now sanctioned by "the almighty" It is said that broom jumping comes from an African Tribal Marriage Ritual of placing sticks on the ground representing the couple's new home together, I have also heard it said that the spray of the broom represents all of us scattered and the handle represents the almighty who holds us together...... You decide Today's ceremony can be performed at the wedding, after the minister pronounces the couple man and wife or at the reception, just after the bridal party enters the reception area. Should you decide to incorporate this wonderful tradition in you wedding remember to do it with the honor and dignity it represents.

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