Historic Black-Owned Swim Club Seeks Bankruptcy

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A Philadelphia-area swimming pool that opened in the late 1950s for black members who were denied access to a nearby whites-only pool has filed for bankruptcy.

Officials who put the Nile Swim Club of Yeadon into Chapter 11 protection on Wednesday didn’t explain the club’s survival plan in the seven-page bankruptcy petition.

Officials launched a fundraising effort earlier this year, telling a local newspaper that the club needs to pay off about $134,000 in taxes and plans to start a competitive swim team and basketball league.

The swim club, located in Yeadon, a suburb bordering Philadelphia, has a storied place in civil rights history. The facility opened in 1959 after two black families were not allowed into another “racially exclusive” club, according to the club’s website.

“Club management stonewalled the applicants, indicated that their paper work had become lost and refused to admit them as guests or members of the facility,” the Nile Swim Club’s website said, adding that the effort to establish the Nile Swim Club got national media attention and support from singer Harry Belafonte and the Supremes.

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Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, spare-time swimming aficionado. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)

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