Idol Chatter

Idol Chatter


The Joy and Angst of ‘Jumping the Broom’

posted by Evan Derrick

People enjoy seeing themselves on the big screen.

And watching “Jumping the Broom” felt like part class reunion and a family gathering – complete with the joys and angst that both can generate. I couldn’t help but be reminded of friends and family, colleagues and classmates as I watched the story of two families and the significance of ancestral traditions and hope.

On Monday, I went to a screening of the film produced by Bishop T.D. Jakes, senior pastor of the Potter’s House in Dallas, through his TDJ Enterprises. The company produces live events, movies, music and provides television and Web services. (see Beliefnet’s interview with T.D. Jakes)

It hits screens nationwide Mother’s Day weekend. Featuring artists such as Angela Bassett, Loretta Devine, Paula Patton and Laz Alonso, the film spotlights two families from divergent socioeconomic backgrounds as they converge on Martha’s Vineyard for a wedding.

The title is taken from a tradition “that dates back to the days of slavery when, by law, Africans were not allowed to be formally married,” wrote life stylist Harriette Cole in her 1993 bridal handbook, “Jumping the Broom: The African-American Wedding Planner.”

“Slaves, who were deeply spiritual, created their own tradition, commonly known as ‘jumping the broom,’” Cole wrote. “During this ceremony, young couples stood before family and friends, offered their thanks while asking for the blessings of their ancestors and God, and literally jumped over a broom to symbolize their step into matrimony.” (see more on what exactly it means to ‘jump the broom’)

I love a good love story. But what initially caught my eye was witnessing an aspect of the African-American community often overlooked on the big screen. There are wealthy African Americans – not just the nouveau riche. African Americans who are bilingual – even polyglots – and intelligent. Who vacation.

“It is important as people of color to help people understand we’re not monolithic,” Jakes said about the need for films showcasing diversity among African Americans by different directors such as Spike Lee and Tyler Perry. “There’s not a right or wrong, but an ‘and’ or ‘in addition to.’”

Throughout the film, I joined several moviegoers as we demonstrated how we related to the characters via amen choruses, our tears or laugh-out-loud responses. For example, Mike Epps’s Uncle Willie Earl stole the scenes with his harmless flirtations with a wedding guest and hit-you-in-the-gut zingers directed at his sister-in-law. Or the well-meaning wedding planner – bless her heart! The class-based clashes and interactions between the bride and her sister-friend-girls talking about men and life are telling.

During a question and answer session after the movie ended, Jakes said he wanted to do a film about family secrets. He said it was important to show, despite how immersed in guilt and fear and pain the characters were, each sought to forgive.

~ Jeannine Hunter lives in Washington, D.C.



Previous Posts

The Official Trailer for Disney’s ‘Cinderella’ Is Out, And It’s Magical
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20DF6U1HcGQ[/youtube] Have courage and be kind. Get ready! Disney has released its first official trailer for the fairy-tale classic ‘Cinderella,’ and it will blow you away. Contrary to the first teaser that simply focused on the glass slippers, this tr

posted 4:10:12pm Nov. 20, 2014 | read full post »

A Sobering Look at Cyberbullying
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kMLJLFfwJV4[/youtube] With headlines blaring about cyberbullying, "Nowhere Safe" is a sobering look at what could go wrong is this “Family Approved” movie by The Dove Foundation. Two teen girls Mel and Alana launch a massive cyber attack on Ashley (Daniel

posted 3:41:32pm Nov. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Casting of God: Is the Equivalent of Choosing an Old Woman to Play Harry Potter
And if there was not enough bad mouthing about Ridley Scott’s film Exodus: Gods and Kings. The announcement this month that God will be played by 11-year-old Isaac Andrews has religious sects in an uproar. Chris Stone, Founder of Faith Driven Consumer and Certified Brand Strategist said many

posted 2:28:53pm Nov. 19, 2014 | read full post »

Kathy Griffin Joins E's Fashion Police
The replacement for Joan Rivers' Fashion Police has been decided. Reports have confirmed that Kathy Griffin will take the place of the late comedienne on the E! show. Griffin will be joined by Rivers' daughter and FP producer Melissa Rivers, as well as co-hosts Giuliana Rancic and Kelly Osbourne.

posted 8:27:02am Nov. 19, 2014 | read full post »

Jumping from Page to Screen
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZ6q0fL2jPo[/youtube] A shy bear wearing a blue coat with wooden toggles, yellow galoshes and deep red bush hat waited at Paddington Train Station in London from Dark Peru. Paddington Bear sits on his suitcase with a note pinned to his coat that reads: “

posted 9:56:51am Nov. 13, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.