Actor/filmmaker David Bianchi brings us another chilling spoken word short with Wade in the Water. The title comes from the negro spiritual of the same name and refers to Israel’s escape from slavery crossing the Red Sea to freedom. It’s also referencing the story in the Book of John of the sick waiting for an angel who would stir the waters of a pool and heal those wading in it.
Bianchi’s Wade in the Water is about three Black men who, through the spoken word, describe their struggles and fears of being black in America. Jovian Wade begins about the “benefits” of being black, the fear of the police, and the unheard words, “Don’t shoot!”
“…the spoken word describe their struggles and fears of being black in America.”
Next, Llewellyn C. Radford speaks to how black Americans are seen and treated differently in the eyes of the police, invoking George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and the countless others before them. Lastly, David Bianchi delves into systematic racism from the origins of the word “black” and how it’s only been sixty years since the Civil Rights Act was passed. Yet, death is still the penalty for “driving while black.”
As with his previous shorts, Hear Me and Let’s Grow, Wade in the Water presents haunting visuals of police brutality to accompany the performances. Each poem is stitched together by vocal transitions of the song, Wade in the Water, sung by Onyi Love. With all the anger and unrest happening on our streets today, David Bianchi continues to bring a powerful message of the black experience in America for all to hear.
Watch Wade in the Water right now on YouTube.
"…death is still the penalty for 'driving while black.'"