Tag Archives: celebrities

When the Broom Breaks


jumpingthebroom“Jumping the Broom.”

The significance of the broom to Black Folk heritage and history originates in the West African country of Ghana. During the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, most of Ghana in the 18th century was ruled by the Asante of Ashanti Confederacy. The Asante’s urban areas and roads were kept conspicuously clean according to visiting British and Dutch traders with the use of locally made brooms. These same brooms were used by wives or servants to clean the courtyards of palaces or homes. The broom in Asante and other Akan cultures also held spiritual value and symbolized sweeping away past wrongs or removing evil spirits.

This is where the broom comes into play regarding marriage. Brooms were waved over the heads of marrying couples to ward off spirits. The couple would often but not always jump over the broom at the end of the ceremony. Jumping over the broom symbolized the wife’s commitment or willingness to clean the courtyard of the new home she had joined. Furthermore, it expressed her overall commitment to the house. It also represented the determination of who ran the household. Whoever jumped highest over the broom was the decision maker of the household (usually the man). The jumping of the broom does not add up to taking a “leap of faith.”

The irony is that practice of jumping the broom was largely discarded after Emancipation in America which was consistent with the eventual fall of the Ashanti Confederacy in Ghana in 1897 and the coming of British customs. Jumping the Broom did survive in the Americas, especially in the United States, among slaves brought from the Asante area. This particular Akan practice of jumping the broom was picked up by other African ethnic groups in the Americas and used to strengthen marriages during slavery among their communities.

Jumping the broom was not a custom of slavery, but is a part of African culture that survived American slavery like the Voodoo religion of the Fon and Ewe ethnic groups or the ring shout ceremony of the BaKongo and Mbundu ethnic groups. With slavery over and superficial hints of racial integration allowed, African-Americans could now have European-style marriages. Jumping the broom had nothing to do with Whites.

Once Blacks could have weddings with rings that were recognizable by anyone as a symbol of marriage, the broom ceremony wasn’t required. During this time, jumping the broom fell out of practice from the stigma it carried, and in some cases still carries, among African Americans who wanted nothing to do with anything associated with that era. The practice survived, and made a resurgence after publication of Alex Haley’s book “Roots.”

Currently, many African and African American couples include jumping the broom at the end of their wedding ceremonies as a tribute to tradition. And even couples who do not actually jump a broom when they get married, often refer to, or at least recognize, the phrase to be synonymous with getting married in the same way most Americans associate “tying the knot” with getting married.

Broom jumping is also practiced by non-Black groups and in different religions around the world with some variation. Wiccans and Gypsies are among some of the groups who developed their own broom-jumping tradition.

Brooms break like a bad weave. A Dirt Devil was required to get these couples out from under all the dust of deceit. After all was said and done, theses Sisters  are in the Black, except for If I Could Turn Back The Hands of Time, Halle just bury him already.

Nas & Kelis Martin

Christina Milian and Terius “The-Dream” Nash

Martin Lawrence & Shamicka Gibbs

Shaquille & Shaunie O’Neal

Michael and Juanita Jordan

Eddie and Nicole Murphy

Lisa Raye McCoy & Michael Misick

Dwyane & Siohvaughn Wade
Lionel and Diane Ritchie


Halle Berry & Eric Benetbrokenbroom


This month in divorce history – Tis the Season for See ya


4edcee086ebf52011  Zooey Deschanel & Ben Gibbard

2010 LeAnn Rimes & Dean Sheremet

Sandra Bullock & Jesse James

Nancy Wilson & Cameron Crowe

2009  Kate & Jonathan Gosselin

2009  Marg Helgenberger & Alan Rosenberg

Susan Sarandon & Tim Robbins – though never legally married, they split after 23 years and two sons together.

2007 Pamela Anderson & Rick Salomon (annulled)

Catherine Keener & Dermot Mulroney

2005 Renee Zellweger & Kenny Chesney – annulled

Valerie Bertinelli & Eddie Van Halen

Christina Applegate & Jonathan Schaech

2003 Sofia Coppola & Spike Jonez

1997 Kirstie Alley & Parker Stevenson

Honorable Diva mention – Tina Turner


Tina Turner: Queen of Rock & Roll – born November 26, 1939

What’s love got to do with it?  This diva mustered up the courage to leave an abusive marriage with nothing more than the clothes on her back, a driver’s license and a gas card.

It didn’t take Ms. Turner long to get back on her feet, and shimmy and sing her way to the top of the charts.  Although she never remarried, she’s been keeping sweet time with a German gem, sixteen years her junior, for  decades.


After almost fifty years in the music business, Tina Turner has become one of the most commercially successful international female rock stars to date. Her sultry, powerful voice, her incredible legs, her time-tested beauty and her unforgettable story all contribute to her legendary status.

Tina Trivia

World’s most successful female rock artist ever. Record sales: over 60 million (1983-1999). Has sold more concert tickets than any other female performer in history. 7-time Grammy Award-winner.

Took part in the USA For Africa recording of “We Are The World”. [28 January 1985].

Living with EMI record executive Erwin Bach since 1986.

Ronnie (born 1964), is the son Tina and Ike had during their 16-year marriage.

Turned down a role in Thelma & Louise (1991).

Tina was with Ike for 20 years, but she was only married to him for 16 years (she doesn’t count the two years it took for the divorce to become final as part of her marriage).

Tina has two sons and two stepsons.

Stepmother of Ike Jr. and Michael, the sons Ike had during his marriage to first wife, Lorraine Taylor; whom Ike didn’t get “legally” divorced from until 1974.

Turned down the role of Shug Avery in The Color Purple (1985). The part eventually went to Margaret Avery.

Craig (born 1958) is Tina’s son from a relationship she had with Raymond Hill, a saxophone player in Ike’s band, The Kings of Rhythm.

Had the biggest-grossing concert tour of North America in 2000. However, due to lower ticket prices, *NSync sold more tickets than Tina.

Because of the frequent beatings she received from her former husband Ike Turner, she had to have reconstructive surgery on her nose.

Rapper Fat Joe sampled a lyric from the chorus of Tina’s 1984 hit “What’s Love Got To Do With It?” which was used in “What’s Luv?”, his hit single featuring Ashanti. [2001]

Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (with Ike Turner) in 1991.

Angela Bassett (playing Tina Turner) mimed to Tina’s voice when performing the musical numbers in the film What’s Love Got to Do with It(1993).

Ranked #2 on VH1’s Greatest Women of Rock N Roll

Joint winner (with Ike Turner) of a Grammy award for ‘Best R&B Group Performance, Vocal Or Instrumental’ for “Proud Mary”. [1972]

Winner of a Grammy award for ‘Best Female Rock Vocal Performance’ for “One Of The Living”. [1986]

Winner of a Grammy award for ‘Best Female Rock Vocal Performance’ for “Back Where You Started”. [1987]

Winner of a Grammy award for ‘Best Female Rock Vocal Performance’ for “Live In Europe”. [1989]

Joint winner (with Terry Britten) of a Grammy award for ‘Record Of The Year’ for “What’s Love Got To Do With It?”. [February 1985]

Winner of a Grammy award for ‘Best Female Pop Vocal Performance’ for “What’s Love Got To Do With It?”. [February 1985]

Winner of a Grammy award for ‘Best Female Rock Vocal Performance’ for “Better Be Good To Me”. [February 1985]

[1995] Rapper Warren G., along with Adina Howard, covered her Grammy-winning hit song “What’s Love Got To Do With It?” for the Supercop (1995) soundtrack.

Received the Lifetime Achievement prize at the MOBO (Music of Black Origin) Awards at the Royal Albert Hall in London. [7 October 1999]

Living in Zürich, Switzerland. [1994-present]

She was voted the 61st Greatest Rock ‘n’ Roll Artist of all time by Rolling Stone.

Ranked #6 on VH-1’s 100 Sexiest Artists. [2002]

Recipient of the 2005 Kennedy Center Honors. Other recipients were Robert RedfordTony BennettSuzanne Farrell, and Julie Harris. [3 December 2005]

[20 February 2006] “Teach Me Again”, her duet with Elisa, from the soundtrack of All the Invisible Children (2005), enters the Italian singles chart at Number 1.

She was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 1750 North Vine Street in Hollywood, California.

Songwriter Holly Knight wrote “(Simply) the Best” (1989) with British pop singer Paul Young in mind. However, when Young passed on the offer, Tina recorded the song after adding a bridge and key change, and it became one of her most high-profile signature tunes.

Personal Quotes

I’m the only person left doing the kind of work that I do.

I will never give in to old age until I become old. And I’m not old yet!

Sometimes you’ve got to let everything go – purge yourself. If you are unhappy with anything . . . whatever is bringing you down, get rid of it. Because you’ll find that when you’re free, your true creativity, your true self comes out.

This is what I want in heaven… words to become notes and conversations to be symphonies.

There comes a point where it is just undignified to be a rock ‘n’ roll star.

Physical strength in a woman — that’s what I am.

Mick is just naughty, you know? The first time I ever went onstage with him, he tried to nudge the microphone in my crotch. He’s like a bad boy in school. That’s why the Stones are like boys to me, because I’ve raised sons. When you raise boys you know how they play. With Mick, you always have to be on guard, because you never know what he’s going to do. But Mick is like a brother. It wasn’t as if some guy pulled off my skirt; it was like this boy I knew did it. [commenting on Mick Jagger]

I don’t hate myself anymore. I used to hate my work, hated that sexy image, hated those pictures of me onstage, hated that big raunchy person. Onstage, I’m acting the whole time I’m there. As soon as I get out of those songs, I’m Tina again.

Gone with the Wind – Divorce Diva Classics


Love her, or hate her, Scarlett O’Hara is the quintessence of clout pout.  She was married three times, survived the Civil War, the death of a child, and kept Tara from going up in flames.  Scarlett may be a fictional character, but if she were real and alive today, she’d have a line of corsets and curtains available at finer department stores.

Try saying to yourself, “I can’t think about that (fill in the that) right now.  If I do, I’ll go crazy.  I’ll think about that tomorrow.”  It worked for her.  It may just work for you. Scarlett may have been a back stabbing, man-stealing harlot, but she had a vision and nothing and nobody was going to stop her from achieving what she obviously felt was her God-given right.  She wasn’t malicious, just misunderstood.  The same might be said of the actress who became famous playing her and the writer who created her.

Margaret Mitchell:  author – born November 8, 1900

The author of the Pulitzer Prize winning novel, Gone with the Wind, was married twice, run over by a car once and died at the age of forty-nine.

Her life wasn’t quite like that of her heroine, Scarlett O’Hara, but there are some similarities.  Both were raised in a white mansion in segregated Atlanta.  Since slavery was out, Mitchell had to make do with servants.

By age seventeen, Margaret was engaged to a soldier who was killed in action.  Several years after she graduated from college, she was courted by two suitors: Red Upshaw and John Marsh.

She married Rhett, I mean Red, who turned out to be an abusive alcoholic bootlegger and all-round scoundrel.  They get divorced, and waiting in the wings, was bachelor No. 2 John March.  They married on July 4, 1925.

We readers owe a debt of gratitude to arthritis as it was this affliction that confined the budding journalist to her bed, where she read and read until, it is said, the public library had to retire her card.  What’s a reader to do?  Write!

Gone with the Wind was published in 1936 and sold more than one million copies in about four months.  Soon after, Hollywood came a calling and every actress in Hollywood wanted to play Scarlett O’Hara.

Vivien Leigh: actress – born November 5, 1913

Around the time Mrs. Leigh was reading Gone with the Wind, she was earning her own Scarlet letter by engaging in an extramarital affair with the also married Laurence Olivier.  The British-born actors would eventually divorce their respective spouses and marry and divorce each other.

Vivien Leigh won two Academy Awards playing Southern belles: Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind and Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire. 

She also suffered in silence with manic depression (bipolar).

Her erratic behavior earned her the reputation of being difficult to work with and made for a rocky marriage to Olivier.


This Month in Divorce History



2011 Demi Moore & Ashton Kutcher

2009 Avril Lavigne & Derych Whibley

2007 Kate Hudson & Chris Robinson

Anita Baker & Walter Baker Bridgforth

2006 Whitney Houston & Bobby Brown

2005  Jennifer Aniston & Brad Pitt

2003 Liza Minnelli & David Gest

2002 Drew Barrymore & Tom Green

1990  Geena Davis & Jeff Goldblum

1973 Priscilla Presley & Elvis Presley

BFF – Beware



Having a dear female friend is like no other.  She is someone to share your deepest most intimate thoughts and fears with.  When times get rough, she’s there to smooth things over.  You laugh together, cry together, shop together, etc.

If you curse your ex, she quickly steps in and adds her own creative put downs.  And when you were going through your divorce she was there with the DVD’s, Doritos and margaritas.

In short, you have each other’s backs.  When you think of great friendships, you think Oprah & Gayle, Laverne & Shirley, Lucy and Ethel, and Heather and Denise come to mind. Okay scratch that last one.

It’s my guess that Heather Locklear and Denise Richards didn’t celebrate  Women’s Friendship Day (September 17) together.

Just two months after filing for divorce from her husband Richie Sambora, Heather and the world learned that her “friend” and neighbor, Denise, was strumming her fate with Richie’s fingers.

Shame on her for breaking the unwritten girlfriend’s rules of engagement: never get involved with a friend’s ex without written permission.

Never mind the fact that when Denise was going through her divorce, Heather gave her strength and support.   What a pal.

She made B.C. Sexy


Divorce Diva of the month

Raquel Welch:  actress/bombshell, born September 5, 1940

I was just a kid when I first laid eyes on Raquel Welch clad in her teeny weenie prehistoric bikini in the movie, One Million Years B.C.  I was grateful that beautiful Amazonians and the T. Rex were extinct.  I was right about Rex and wrong about Raquel.

She was hotter than lava back in the day and that movie poster adorned the walls of teenage boys and single adult males everywhere.  She did for brunettes what Marilyn Monroe did for bottled blonds.

So one would think the man lucky enough to call this Goddess his wife would do anything short of committing a capital offense to hold on to that cleavage. Apparently, husband No. 1 didn’t get the memo. After fives years of marriage and two children, Mr. Welch was history.

Never a quitter, Ms. Welch walked down the aisle twice more, thinking that three would be the charm.  The final course was divorce from No. 3, a restaurateur.  She should have stuck with the cavemen.