Wade in the Water: African American Sacred Music Traditions

October 11, 1997 – December 7, 1997

National Museum of American History
14th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC

1st Floor, Taylor Gallery Floor Plan

Photographs, text, and objects trace the history of African American music from its roots in slavery and worship practices. The core of the exhibition consists of the following 6 thematic sections: the use of sacred songs to commemorate historical events; the ways in which spirituals helped slaves both survive and resist enslavement; and the development of the spiritual concert tradition, the African-American quartet, and gospel music. Included are record albums, maps, sheet music, musical instruments, baptismal gowns, and church memorabilia.

Adapted from the 1994 award-winning radio series.