Hell or High Water: How Racism Kept Black America From Swimming


Now, we’ve all heard the stereotype that black folks can’t swim. But, unfortunately, that cliché is based in haunting truths.

The numbers speak for themselves: 64 percent of black kids have no or low swimming ability, versus 45 percent of Latinx children and 40 percent of white kids.

A 2014 study also found that black children between the ages of 5 and 19 were five and a half times more likely to drown in swimming pools than white kids of the same age.

Here’s the thing: Black folks weren’t always thought to be non-swimmers.

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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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