Wade in the Water
Wade in the Water, the beautiful African American spiritual song is so rich in history. It’s lyrics speak of the Israelites escape from slavery out of Egypt. It also refers to spiritual healing as found in the gospel of John when the angel went down and troubled the water and whoever stepped into it would be healed. Harriet Tubman used this magnificent song to tell escaping slaves to get off the trail and into the water to make sure the dogs employed by slavers lost their scent trail .
The response to this painting has been beautiful. I've had emails from all over from singers telling me this is one of their favorite songs. I had messages about the beauty of children and how they were reminded that racism is taught by adults. And then I got messages from the art world because this painting was done on top of plaster and strips of African fabric. The underpainting or the back story, as I like to call it has architectural elements from Southern Plantations. And as I was contemplating the composition, I included chains.
In the end I am reminded that I worship a God of equality. He loves us all the same. And so, I pray that as a country we grow to a place where it's not just the children who walk hand in hand.
“Wade in the Water” 36x48 mixed media acrylic on canvas , by Karen Velasquez (available)