Why Black People Can't Swim

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We need to have a conversation about the myth/stereotype about why "Black people can't swim!"

This stereotype - though often laughed at - is not only racist it's couched in American exclusionary practices. The reason why vast amounts of Black americans today (70% to be exact) can't swim is historically due to government sanctioned redlining and de-facto segregation that would limit Black american access to pools in the summertime. 

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Disastrous redlining practices of the 1930's meant to segregate whites from Blacks, corralled Black americans into poor sections of cities (ghettos) that did not have access to reliable water, let alone recreational-sized pools for the next 60 years. Of the pools that were available in sections of cities in the 1910's-60s, Black people were rabidly denied  pool access (some even draining entires pools if a Black person's toe even touched it. i.e. Dorothy Dandridge) because of de-facto segregation and red-neck whites.

Motel manager pouring acid in the water when black people swam in his pool, 

Motel manager pouring acid in the water when black people swam in his pool, 

Motel manager pouring acid in the water when black people swam in his pool, 1964.

Consequentially, with little access to recreational-sized pools because of neighborhood proximity and white-racism, this created future generations of urban Black americans who'd never learnt to swim. Accordingly, this generational inaccessibility to pools would persist for many decades, excluding generations of Black Americans from the leisure of the exercise of swimming, thusly allowing the myth that "Blacks can't swim" to persist - as if black people never sought to learn. 

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Simone Manuel, first African-American woman to win an individual event in Olympic swimming.

Nonetheless, despite access to recreational swimming, we ALL learned that Black people do swim, and because of Simone  Manuel, if given a shot, they too, can swim laps around anybody and win gold medals, if given access to! #Rio2016