Black history month may be coming to a close, but many special traditions stay near our hearts throughout the year at events all across the country. Below are a few traditions you may have seen at a wedding or event but may not have realized the historical significance behind them! As a diversity-inclusive company, Rock Paper Coin truly enjoys uplifting our community and educating ourselves about the traditions of our ethnic communities.

Jumping the Broom

While slavery continued in the United States, it was illegal for enslaved individuals to marry. Many included brooms as a proclamation of their commitment to each other. In modern-day times, the couple will either decorate the broom together or have a broom that was passed down to them, and it will be hidden away under a chair until they are pronounced married. Some may say that the individual who jumps the highest is the one who is the head decision-maker of the family. Many couples keep the broom as a keepsake and pass it down to their children. Keeping the broom symbolizes unity in one’s home. Not every African – American couple will carry on with this tradition, as the symbolizing of slavery can be painful to carry into their ceremony but respecting one’s unique wishes and wants is a beautiful thing.

Money Spray

Showering a bride in money is a typical tradition for West African cultures, but you may be asking what the significance or meaning behind it is. Not only is this a tradition for weddings but also birthdays in West African or Nigerian culture. Showering the couple with money is a sign of prosperity, happiness, and good fortune – this is how wedding guests show adoration for the couple. The money spray typically occurs when the couple enters the room for their reception but may occur multiple times during the night.

Fraternities and Sororities

Let’s talk about a great way to hype your wedding guests up for a night filled with great beats and feels! Celebrating with your “brothers and sisters” goes far behind your blood lineage during a wedding, but it’s also about celebrating with your chosen family. Many African Americans who are a part of historically black Greek life decide to incorporate their sororities and fraternities into their wedding. Sororities or Fraternities will stroll throughout the wedding reception and celebrate their brothers and sisters who are getting married. Many times the couple then joins their brother and sisters in the stroll. The stroll is dated back to the 1800s where it is performed to show strength and unity. 

As a community, let’s continue to educate ourselves and celebrate the cultural traditions many of our couples participate in during their events.