Wade in the Water

Wade in the Water. African American spiritual*. Wade in the water, wade in the water children, wade in the water, God’s gonna trouble the water. Water is an important image in the African American spiritual. ‘Deep river’* is a song that finds hope on the other side of the river. ‘Go down, Moses’* is a spiritual of deliverance in which Pharaoh’s armies were drowned in the sea. Water was a primary aspect of slave experience. Africans began their captivity—the ‘middle passage’—by traveling across the ocean to a new land in slave ships. The Ohio River was the dividing line between slavery and freedom on the Underground Railroad. Drawing from both the Old and New Testaments, there are...

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