Jumping the Broom: A History Lesson

"Jumping the Broom!"

This is an African American phrase and custom for marriage.

The significance of the broom to African American heritage and history originates in the West African country of Ghana. During the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, most of Ghana in the 18th century was ruled by the Asante of Ashanti Confederacy.  The Asante’s urban areas and roads were kept conspicuously clean according to visiting British and Dutch traders with the use of locally made brooms. These same brooms were used by wives or servants to clean the courtyards of palaces or homes. The broom in Asante and other Akan cultures also held spiritual value and symbolized sweeping away past wrongs or removing evil spirits.

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