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Jumping the BroomThe Surprising Multicultural Origins of a Black Wedding Ritual$
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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

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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

Beyond Black or White

Beyond Black or White

The Broomstick Wedding’s Expanding Meaning

Chapter:
(p.186) Chapter Nine Beyond Black or White
Source:
Jumping the Broom
Author(s):

Tyler D. Parry

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469660868.003.0010

The final chapter examines how the broomstick wedding appeals to different groups in the twenty-first century, some of which have no ancestral attachment to the custom. The chapter begins by analysing an “anarchist” marriage that uses the broomstick wedding, in which the author positions it as an anarchic symbol of matrimony since it was used by populations who were often married outside governmental regulations. It then uses this expansive historical framework to explore how jumping the broom was adopted and adapted by various cultural groups and communities in the United States and elsewhere. Viewing the ritual through a diasporic lens, it questions how it has gained some acceptance from Black people in the Caribbean and Atlantic islands who do not hold ties to North American slavery. It then analyzes how interracial couples approach the ceremony as depicted in both popular media and the wedding industry more broadly. The chapter then directs its attention toward Romani populations and Neo-pagans in the United States and Great Britain, and the circumstances under which the custom was revived and/or continued in these groups. The chapter explores the simmering debate surrounding questions of “cultural ownership” and who has the “right” to marry in this way.

Keywords:   Interracial, Diasporic, Atlantic, Anarchic, Symbol, “Cultural ownership”, Romani, Neo-pagan, Jumping the Broom

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