Marriage throughout African American History

By hhaile
  • African Traditions

    African Traditions
    West African countries held specific traditional marriage ceremonies. For example, the act of waving brooms over the head of the couple to ward off evil spirits. At times, the couple would at the end jump over the broom. This tradition was brought over by slaves who were from the Asante area. They would perform this ritual in order to strengthen their marriage -an act of African culture that survivedSource
  • Formal Marriage - House servants

    Formal Marriage - House servants
    Marriages between slaves who were house servants were performed by either whiter or black plantation preachers. It invovled a large feast and a dance. The act of "jumping the broom" was likely incorporated. Shows clear distinction between house slaves and field slaves in regards to treatment.
  • Broad Marriages

    Broad Marriages
    Broad marriages - between slaves on different plantations was discouraged. Slave owners feared it took time from work and increased independence. Most often, the spouse would be bought. If not, slave men received weekend passes. The children of these marraiges were viewed as the property of the slave womens owner.
  • Typical Marriage

    Typical Marriage
    Slave marraiges were not legally recognized or provided any protection. Most marriages simply meant seeking the approval of the slaveowner and then moving in together. Slave owners benefited from slave marriage as it was their response to abolitionist claims that slavery undermined family/marriage.
  • "Miscegenation"

    The term Miscengenation began to be used to intendify intermarriage between whites and blacks. The term was used mostly by individuals who were anti-Abolitionists.
  • Military Officials Take Action

    sourceFreedmen refugees in the contraband camps had their marriages regulaized by the Union Army clergy. This was an effort to indetify couples, resolve inheritance issues and settle claims against the government regarding deceased black soldier.
  • Anti-miscegenation Laws

    sourceAlthough many states had laws regarding interracical marraige long before the Civil War, many southern states continued to reinforce anti-interraicial marriage laws and push for either their restatement into law again or for higher consequences for violators.
  • Black Churches

    As a result of reconstruction , freed slaves established their own churches once given the opportunity.
  • Freedmen's Bureau Issues Marriage Orders

    sourceThe Freedmen's Bureau was a government agency created in order to aid freemen during the reconstruction period. THey were invovled in housing, education, employment but most importantly marriage certificates. They kept records of marriage, performed marriage cermonies and preserved slave marriages.
  • Black Codes

    sourceAs a response to the Civil RIghts Act of 1866 southern legislatures passed laws that restricted opportunities for blacks. While these codes ranged widely , they did outlaw interracial marriage.
  • Loving v. Virginia Case

    sourceSuperme Court decideds that the state of Virginias attempt to prevent marriages between persons solely on the basis of race was in violation of the equal protection and due process clauses of the 14th amendment.
  • Alabama Interracial Marriage

    sourceAfter a statewide vote Alabama became the last state to overturn a law regarding interracial marriage. The result stated that 40% of voters wanted to keep the ban in place. This highlights the conterversial issues of race relations in todays south.
  • Unwed Mothers

    There seems to be a breakdown in the African American faily as 72% of babies are born to single mothers. Of course this statistic has brought about debates in attempt to explain this phenomenon. The debates center around about black mens family role, racisim, poverty and education in regards to their role int the African American community. source
  • Kentucky Church

    sourceA Kentucky church made healdines for attempting to ban interracial couples from the church. Clearly outlining how race is still an issue in the south especially when deaing with interracial marriage.
  • Interracial Marriage - Stats

    source Statistic show that innterracial marriage is on the rise with 1/12 marraiges being an interracial couple. The survey also found that black men were more likely to date oustide their race as opposed to black women.