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Wade In The Water Ep. 5: The Power Of Communal Song

Fannie Lou Hamer, Victoria Gray and Annie Devine, Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party contestants for the state's seats, hold a telegram allowing them onto the House floor during debate.
Fannie Lou Hamer, Victoria Gray and Annie Devine, Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party contestants for the state's seats, hold a telegram allowing them onto the House floor during debate.

Wade in the Water is a 26-part series, originally released in 1994, that celebrates African American sacred music and traditions. To learn more about the series, click here. For more episodes click here or listen on the go with the NPR One app.


The story of African American religious music as a moral weapon, to galvanize individuals for worship and for action in the civil rights struggles of the century.

Song List

  • Mass Meeting, "Wade in the Water"
  • McIntosh County Shouters, "Jubilee"
  • McIntosh County Shouters, "Sign of the Judgment"
  • McIntosh County Shouters, "I See the Sign"
  • Seniorlites, "Satan in Here"
  • Georgia Sea Island Singers, "Daniel"
  • West African Music / Ashanti Rhythms
  • Southern Baptist Church Choir, "Good Time in Zion, I Believe"
  • Rev. C.J. Johnson, "I Want to Go Where Jesus Is"
  • John Handcox, "There Is Mean Things Happening"
  • Almanac Singers, "Roll the Union On"
  • Civil Rights Movement Singers, "Lord Hold My Hand While I Run This Race"
  • Civil Rights Movement Freedom Singers, "We Shall Not Be Moved"
  • Civil Rights Movement Freedom Singers, "This Little Light of Mine"
  • Civil Rights Movement Freedom Singers, "I Want My Freedom Now"
  • Civil Rights Movement Conference, "We'll Never Turn Back"
  • Fannie Lou Hamer, "Go Tell It on the Mountain"
  • Mamie Brown and the Birmingham Movement Choir, "I'm On My Way"
  • Carlton Reese and Company, "Traveling Shoes"
  • Civil Rights Movement Conference, "Eyes on the Prize"
  • Civil Rights Movement Freedom Singers, "We Shall Overcome"
  • Voices of the Civil Rights Movement, "We Shall Overcome"
  • Voices of the Civil Rights Movement / Folkways 1990, "We Shall Overcome"
  • Wade in the Water was produced by Judi Moore Latta and Sonja Williams.


    Stream A Selection Of Songs From The Series

    Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.