Jumping the Broom (not to be confused with Jumping the Groom, a practice more appropriately done in private) is an African-American wedding custom dating back to the 1800’s. The origin of this custom is cloudy. Some associate this practice with slavery, saying it dates back to a time when black slaves were not allowed to be married. Others hold that the roots of this custom are in West Africa, and that it should be practiced with “honor and respect” to one’s African or African American ancestors. Those who do Jump the Broom do so to represent strenth, love, unity, loyalty and respect, essential ingredients for a successful marriage.