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

Behind The Scenes of THE IDENTICAL
There's one more week left to check out the IDENTITY SERIES, a half-hour television show featuring prominent Christian leaders encouraging viewers about the importance of following God call's on their life. Among those appearing in the series are best-selling author and pastor Max Lucado;  Lifec

posted 9:39:35pm Aug. 30, 2014 | read full post »

D'oh for ALS
Yay! Even Homer Simpson joined the popular “Ice Bucket Challenge” to support the ALS Associations research efforts. The marketing has more than worked it created a phenomenon. Also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, ALS affects the nerve cells in the brain, spinal cord, and muscles through the bod

posted 11:19:33am Aug. 28, 2014 | read full post »

Horror Flick Details Biblical End Times
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3pyDaNoY6s[/youtube] Faith based films have become a buzzword in Hollywood lately said writer and director Casey La Scala of “Donnie Darko,” and “A Walk to Remember.” La Scala new film is a horror flick based on biblical accounts of end times c

posted 4:26:27pm Aug. 27, 2014 | read full post »

Identity Series: Embrace Your Place
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dyst6VUv2iY [/youtube] Director of Equip and Empower Ministries, Christine Caine, pushes believers to embrace the place that God designed especially for them in this episode of the IDENTITY series sponsored by the upcoming film THE IDENTICAL. "There's a div

posted 9:42:59am Aug. 26, 2014 | read full post »

Rocking New Exclusive Clip from "The Identical"
Ray Liotta and Ashley Judd star in The Identical as the adoptive parents of a young man who dreams of a singing career -- not a life as a pastor like his father. What young Ryan Wade doesn't know, though, is that he has a twin brother who is the biggest rock-and-roll star in the world -- a fact his

posted 3:54:42pm Aug. 25, 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.