Jumping the Broom: Landing on Mar(s)-riage

Hubby and I finally got a chance to go see Jumping the Broom. So much things to say, I hardly know where to begin. So, I’ll have to go into this piece like a multi-tiered wedding cake. And I warn you, there will be spoilers. (Although spoilers never stopped me from seeing for myself what happens). But you’ve been warned.

I must say, the first act had me a little perturbed and almost overshadowed my entire interest in the film. Let me note, I completely understand, that just like all genres of creative storytelling, many self-proclaimed and financed storytellers are not necessarily gifted in their chosen profession.  They do ‘aight. But literary or cinematic geniuses you obviously don’t have to be in order to have a box office hit. (Tyler Perry)

I mean, for crying out loud, is the working-class, Black family really synonymous with ignorance, cultural confinement, ebonic-laced tongues and malicious motives? And the safe assumption is that upper-crust Black families simply must have homes in the Hamptons, speak fluid French, have great appreciation for opera, detach themselves from Black cultural traditions and are righteous people, with the exception of financial indiscretions, who save the wayward.

And is it a stretch to believe there are healthy Black marriages where love is evident and sincere honor dominates?

This premise is what kept poking at me as I sat watching the plot thicken on screen. I couldn’t shake the irritation with the contrived and trite characters, so flat and one-dimensional, I kept hoping for more depth. Credits were rolling when I accepted that it was not to be.

Still, the movie was entertaining, though I wish they had allowed Mike Epps his comedic freedom. Everybody knows Angela Bassett’s acting can give a mop life and Loretta Devine’s passion is contagious. Notwithstanding the abundance of eye candy that kept me focused on the screen.

Needless to say, I got over my irritation and enjoyed the film after all.

As I mentioned, my husband and I saw the movie for our date night, something we’ve learned during these last ten years makes all the difference in our married life. Yep, we jumped the broom ten years ago, June 16, 2001. And while we will celebrate this milestone and all its infinite blessings, watching the characters grapple with many of the issues most couples deal with (finances, sex, family, professional advancement) I couldn’t help but be transported back in time.

Mr. and Mrs. Sewell jumping the broom June 16, 2001 (I had hops...lol)


Come to think of it, the intense focus on weddings this year has prompted me to go back to our beginnings (the inevitable wedding following the 8 year courtship and two babies, but I digress). Weddings have definitely been the major focus this year, what with the Brit family across the pond commandeering everyone’s attention with their opulent ceremony. Then too, I was a bridesmaid to one of my closest sister friends just a few months back. And I might add, her ceremony was just as royal as Kate and Willie’s soiree.

So this film, and everyday life, highlighted some very fundamental values and considerations people need to hold when building the foundation to a healthy marriage.

Here are a few truths that I have come to claim:

Cool kids…

Marriage is an institution, a serious partnership not to be entered in because your friends are all married, you are lonely, you want children, or you get drunk in Vegas. You are establishing a life that requires structure and emotional accountability; linking finances and visions. You have to be intentional about your love. Those vows are the bylaws that ensure the institution remains sound, viable AND profitable…in ways a checking account can never compare.

Power of love…

Love is the least of the things you’ll need to have a healthy marriage. Love is merely 40-50%. Now, let’s be clear. You should love your mate 100% all f the time. But that’s a mere fraction of the WORK!  Communication. Honor. Respect. Trust. Attraction. Sex. Patience. Encouragement. Humor. And Sex (I already said that right? Well, satisfying sex).

Grown Folks…

I love the scripture in the Bible, Genesis 2 and Ephesians 5: 25.

Marriage is for grown folks. If momma and daddy are still paying your bills and calling the shots in your life, you might need a little more time to develop in the real world, then give it a go.

Family Affair…

At the same time, be very clear, people are who they are in large part because of their family. Whether a huge clan or an only child, when someone detaches themselves fully from their family, it causes some hurt on all ends. Marry someone and make demands, trying to manipulate them so that they have limited interaction with their family, I guarantee a storm is brewing.

Beware of the person who has absolute disdain for their families. That is not healthy,

and you could be dealing with someone with serious, unresolved issues.

Happy ending…

Sometimes, when you’ve given it your all and then some more of your best, plus all of the prayer you have, you’ve got to deal realistically. In the film, the bride’s parents stayed in a lifeless and unfulfilling marriage. When you find vows flagrantly broken or you have dismissed your values, remember divorce is an option. I think it is more damaging to children to live in a household with false love than to live with divorced parents. Provide healthy examples, otherwise they believe dysfunction is normal.

And remember, the law requires court papers to make it official. You’ll need court papers to end it. It cannot be absolved by mere words or packing of bags. Ask Frankie Lymon’s widows.

Finally, there’s no way to put it better:

I Corinthian 13: 4-8

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

Lighting Unity Candle (another tradition) June 16, 2001

4 Comments »

  1. Loved this. Nice post.

  2. J4 Said:

    Good stuff sis!

  3. Nicole Said:

    My friend,

    I always look forward to reading your post. You are one of the most insightful sisters I know. I have not seen the movie but I predicted that it would be how you described. I appreciate your anaylsis of what marriage can or should be. In today’s society everyone is so focused on things being perfect, getting married for the wrong reason that they miss the blessing of it all.

    I agree that we do need more depictions of stable marriages. No, all of them are not glamorous but stable, lovely and full of life none the less.

    I look forward to seeing the movie and having some great discussion with friends like you. I pray I see you sooner than later.

    Love you Girl

  4. Uncle Art Said:

    Nice to see U’ve picked up a few things in life ;-)


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