By Itty Okopide
For Sabrina Watson, love shouldn’t be about jumping the broom, but soon she finds out that jumping the broom is not just a tradition that means a lot to her mother-in-law. Jumping the broom is a ritual!
Jumping the broom is a traditional black wedding practice that takes place after vows have been exchanged. The newlyweds hold hands, and jump over a broom to seal the union. In Christian culture, jumping the broom is a variation of the Christian belief that occurs during weddings. It places God as the handle of the broom, the straw bristles as the couple’s families, and the ribbon around the broom as the ties that bind the couple.
In Jumping the Broom, a 2011 romance-comedy movie, we see culture bound by love in so many instances. First and foremost, there is an intriguing name which the movie has that compels us to imagine what a broom has got to do with a movie poster with a smiling bride and groom on it. This is particularly useful for those who don’t know about this Christian belief. Sabrina is about to wed the love of her life amid the most turbulent get together of the two families, and an unknown family/wedding tradition initiated by her mother-in-law which requires her to “jump the broom” with Jason.
Not familiar with the tradition and uptight about her decision to change her mind, she soon wholeheartedly accepts to jump the broom. An act of love, to please Taylor’s and as an acceptance of her future husband’s cultural tradition. Moreover, does not the straw bristles in the broom signify the couple’s families being one? culture and love at work.
The Character of Pam Taylor
Jason’s mother. A culturally inclined woman was Pam Taylor. Holding dear to her was a set of beliefs she didn’t dare deviate from. She made the best apple pies and carried some along to her son in a different city, to the surprise of everyone. An act of love, and oh, a link between culture and love.
We also see Pam slowly berate oysters as part of the wedding menu, then express shock when her son mentions that he only wrote the check for the wedding and wasn’t a part of the food selection. “These folk have all the money in the world and they got you paying for this?” Apparently, dear Pam has her simple beliefs which she might have passed on to her son. The spouse with the most money should be the sponsor of the wedding. In other words, Sabrina and her family should be the sponsors of the wedding. Someone tell dear Pam that the man is usually the sponsor of the wedding and it is completely up to the lady to decide whether she wants to support. But then, her belief in who should sponsor the wedding doesn’t matter much to Jason. An act of love.
Can Cultural Conflicts be Resolved?
There is no joke bringing families together from different cultural backgrounds, there is bound to be conflict. In the movie Jumping the Broom, we see a whole lot of disagreements between both families which leads to a series of conflicts that almost prompted Sabrina to call off the wedding and Pam Taylor to leave without witnessing her son exchange vows with the love of his life. Jason plays the role of bringing both families together in unity and is even forgiving of his mother regardless of her unreserved personality.
Let’s just say Jason realizes that when two cultures clash, a compromise has to be reached out of love. Gradually, they begin to accept and embrace each other’s culture. Finally, Sabrina accepted to jump the broom.
Culture, Forgiveness, & Love
Jumping the Broom does well at exploring the themes of culture and love. Culture is a way of life, therefore whatever we believe, that makes up our cultural foundation. It becomes a problem when we try to impose our beliefs on others. For Pam Taylor, she has firm cultural beliefs and so does Sabrina and her family. Conflicts are bound to take place when there is no acceptance of the other culture.
At some point, both families have to accept that their children are going to be married and to live in harmony, the families must reach a compromise. Beauty lies in the acceptance of the other culture and forgiveness of one another. All for the couple who are in love.