Wade in the Water: A Journey into Black Surfing and Aquatic Culture

US, Feature Documentary, 2023, 80 min

UNCOVERED SURPRISE! Santa Barbara International Film Festival

According to artifacts and early European sailor accounts, Africans have been surfing for over a thousand years, from Senegal to Angola. Then why do we picture surfers as people of Northern European descent, whose ancestors never surfed? This is easily explained in America, because Black families were forbidden from the beaches in Florida and California until the 1930s. Wade in the Water honors the lives, legacies, and struggles of Santa Monica's pioneering African American surfers with an in-depth historical context of the first African Americans to arrive in Santa Monica, as well as their encounters with the Jim Crow laws that legalized and enforced racial segregation in California's coastal cities. The people profiled here are an inspiration to the next generation of Black surfers.

Directed by David Mesfin

Colorado Premiere

A Call2Action selection

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In person: N/A

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Venues: The Boulder Theater; Grace Commons Church, 1820 15th Street; Boulder High; Cinemark Century Boulder 1, 1700 29th St.; Cinemark Century Boulder 2, 1700 29th St.; eTown Hall; Longmont Museum’s Stewart Auditorium