“Jumping the Broom”: African American class divide

When you were a young child, did you think about getting married? We may plan our wedding and visualize the person of our dreams, but we never stop to think that our class backgrounds and family values could possibly clash with theirs. In the movie Jumping the Broom, Sabrina Watson and Jason Taylor come from two almost opposite worlds. They love each other and are very excited to get married, but they never thought being as different as they were would cause such conflict between their family members.

The movie is a film based off the black American tradition of the bride and groom jumping the broom. You have one class background which is the working class family, all about traditions and moral values. Then on the other side you have the family from a materialistic upper class background, who based their values on having the best of everything and anything.

When their families come together for their wedding and meet for the first time, everything that could go wrong does. Differences arises and secrets are revealed, causing Jason and Sabrina to question their marriage. Their families just might be too much for them to deal with. Jumping the Broom makes you think of the class differences right away. Sabrina’s mother, Claudine, is surprised by Jason’s mother, Pam, who is from the city. Claudine with her high class lifestyle judges Pam’s family from little information they see, assuming that they have less money and are people she doesn’t usually associate herself with. Pam doesn’t even get a chance to know Mrs. Watson. She sees Claudine’s snobby attitude and gets some confusing vibes from her daughter Sabrina. She judges Claudine because of her big house and french accent.

When we look at Jason’s family we see them as the African American family who comes from a working class background, lives in an urban area and doesn’t have all the nice things the Watson family has. But when we look at Sabrina’s family, we see that they have a lot of money, the stereotype of the rich white family that have done very little to get what they have.

As the movie proceeds you see that Pam has very sentimental values pertaining to family traditions, another example of social groups shaping our perception of how we treat others. When Pam expresses that she has brought the broom she and her husband jumped, she says she would like for Jason and Sabrina to follow the same tradition. However, Sabrina, instead of accepting Pam’s value of the broom, immediately refuses and states they will do no such thing. At that moment we see Sabrina’s social experience with her rich friends has been. A huge influence by their ritzy preferences  stops her from even thinking about what kind of sentimental value it would have been to her future mother-in-law.

How we perceive people is not the best when we come face to face for the first time. However, throughout the film, we start to see the similarities between the two families. Pam and Claudine come to realize that  both families have issues they need to resolve and one is not better than the other.

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