JUMPING THE BROOM by Courtni C. Wright


Email this review


It's a joyful occasion in the slave quarters as two young people ready themselves to ""jump the broom""; the men make baskets and furniture for them, the women sew a brilliantly colorful quilt, and (for a while, at least) slavery's hard reality is ignored. Eight-year-old Lettie observes these preparations, the simple ceremony, and the subsequent celebration; through her, the author acknowledges the reality without allowing it to dim the festivities. Griffith's illustrations -- light-drenched scenes of spacious cabins and happy people in decoratively patched clothing -- are more superficial, while his depictions of the food and of the quilt's construction sometimes contradict Lettie's descriptions. An uneven effort that nonetheless reaffirms the stubborn survival of culture and community at a time when slaves were not allowed to have church weddings.

Pub Date: March 15th, 1994
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Holiday House