The barriers keeping African Americans from learning to swim is a difficult subject to talk about. There are stereotypes that black people cannot swim. That is not what this story is about. Almost everyone is capable of learning to swim. This story is about the barriers that keep African Americans from learning to swim, and how too often those barriers put us, your neighbors, friends and loved ones in danger.[… ]
“Parents taught their kids growing up to stay away from the water, and stay away from the river,” Potts said. “It was almost like saying don’t touch that it’s hot; you’re going to get burnt.”
This scenario has played out all across the country for years. A study by USA Swimming found that fear is one of the strongest barriers keeping black kids from learning and it was passed from generation to generation.