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Jones, Arthur C.

Wade in the Water: the Wisdom of the Spirituals

Wade in the Water: the Wisdom of the Spirituals

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Maryknoll, N.Y: Orbis Books, 1993. First ed., presumed (no earlier printings indicated). xxi, 182 pages: illustrations, portraits, pls.; 25 cm. Includes bibliographical references (pages 169-175) and indexes. Fine copy with two very faint spots to front free endpaper; else as new in very fine jacket. Dust jacket housed in archival mylar. Hardcover. ISBN: 0883449234; 9780883449233

Contents: "Over my head I hear music in the air": African beginnings -- "Sometimes I feel like a motherless child": suffering and transformation -- "Joshua fit the battle of Jericho": struggle and resistance -- "City called Heaven": a working, everyday spirituality -- "Scandalize' my name": accountability -- "There is a balm in Gilead": hope and healing.

Spirituals emerged from the crucible of slavery. They inspired enslaved African Americans to risk their lives for the chance to be free. Wade in the Water celebrates these spirituals as an art form and as unique and powerful cultural expression. For those with little knowledge of the tradition, it provides a wealth of information. For those who know and love the spirituals, it offers a fresh perspective and an invitation to deeper understanding, spiritual transformation, and social renewal. - Back cover. In "Wade in the Water," Jones juxtaposes songs like "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child" with historical accounts by former slaves of watching anguished mothers beg slave traders not to separate them from their children. He also decodes the language of resistance in songs used to signal uprisings or share information about escape routes. And he describes a music that blends Christian themes from the West with themes, rhythms and the call-and-response pattern from Africa, linking the slaves who created it to a tradition and identity that predated slavery. - Donna Bryson, Associated Press. A psychologist and musician reveals how the spirituals embody a rich tradition of values, particularly in human relationships, community, and hope. --From publisher's description

African Americans -- Music -- History and criticism. Negro spirituals -- Histoire et critique. African Americans -- Music. Spirituals (Songs) Negrospiritual Geschichte African Americans -- History and criticism -- Songs. Geschichte. Negrospiritual. Criticism, interpretation, etc. Music. Musique.

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