Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Jumping the BroomThe Surprising Multicultural Origins of a Black Wedding Ritual$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Tyler D. Parry

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781469660868

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2022

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469660868.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 04 July 2022

As If They Had Been Joined by a Clergyman

As If They Had Been Joined by a Clergyman

Jumping the Broom and American Slavery

(p.37) Chapter Two As If They Had Been Joined by a Clergyman
Jumping the Broom

Tyler D. Parry

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter makes an important intervention in the existing scholarship of slave marriage in the United States and the centrality of “jumping the broom” in that historiography. It analyzes the ceremony’s diverse expressions throughout the antebellum South, arguing that enslaved people in different areas, similarly to their British counterparts, reimagined it for their own community’s preferences. The chapter then draws upon various narratives to examines how gender and social status were infused into the custom, showcasing how it reflected contests of dominance and domestic equality. It also overturns assumptions that the ceremony was universal among the enslaved, as many testimonials reveal it was largely associated with “field hands,” while those enslaved in the plantation house claimed to receive elaborate weddings that included Christian ministers. The chapter dismantles several myths that are now associated with the custom by historicizing the motivations for people who used it while simultaneously explaining why others rejected it. The chapter also provides a number of graphs and charts, which display how different practitioners performed the ritual differently and used it for different purposes.

Keywords:   Slavery, Slave Marriage, Historiography, Gender, Status, Plantation, Myths, Christian ministers, Graphs, Antebellum South

North Carolina Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .