If you look in the corner of your kitchen, or in the attic of your house, what you might see is a plain old broom. Something you use when you get an allowance to do a chore. To me, this represents union of a man and a woman once jumped from one side over to the other. From the beginning of my ethnic roots, all the way from Trinidad and Tobago, there was a family tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation. A ritual performed once a woman and man get married. Broom jumping was practiced for thousands of years by Black slaves who couldn’t wed in a cathedral church due to social status. The broom ceremony represents the joining of two families. It is practiced with honor for my ancestors and my great grandma and grandpa who installed in my family that this tradition needs to be kept alive. Not only does it pay respect and show our patronage to our ancestors, it pays tribute to those who endured pain and sacrifice that came before us. To our ancestors, it was their perception of a legal document and bonding with the connection to their homeland, and providing dignity and strength upon their union as one in marriage. My great-grandmother used to tell my Nana Hazel, “placing sticks on the floor represents the couple’s new home” and “that the sprays of the broom, represents all of us scattered and the handle itself represents the unification as one whole”. Now when I look in the corner of my kitchen, I see a symbol of prosperity, solidification and bravery.
– Chanel Joseph