Denotes an antebellum marriage ritual used by African-American slaves, who were often prevented from legally marrying.
With wide variations, the basic feature of the ritual was that the marriage union was solemnized by a young couple leaping together over a broom. This would be done in the context of a family gathering.
Widely practiced in the American South, the ritual may have an African origin, or it may have been adapted from a similar ancient Celtic fertility ritual.
"Jumping the broom" is currently enjoying a resurgence in popularity as a tribute to the customs of American slaves.
"Since legal marriage between us seems impossible, let's go jump the broom!"