Leave a comment

Jim Crow laws and other discriminatory practices kept generations of African-American children from learning how to swim in the safety of public pools. That legacy is one factor that fuels the stereotype that Blacks can’t swim.

Sigma Gamma Rho, an African-American sorority, is helping to break the stereotype by organizing swimming clinics for Black children, the Baltimore Sun report.

The sorority offers swimming lessons in collaboration with USA Swimming, which provides volunteers to instruct the kids.

USA Swimming, the sport’s national governing body, estimates that 64 percent of African-American children do not know how to swim—roughly three times the rate of White children. Consequently, Black children between 5 and 19 drown in swimming pools at more than five times the rate of Whites in that age groups, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Swimming as a skill, as a recreation, as a sport and as a social activity has been passed down generationally among White Americans. This wasn’t the case with African-American” Professor Jeff Wiltse, of the University of Montana, told The Sun.

According to the newspaper, the sorority conducted an internal poll of its 3,200 members to gather data on why African-Americans are not swimming more. Many of the women had near-drowning experiences as children. Others pointed to the high cost of swimming lessons, as well as concerns about their hair.

USA Swimming said one thing is certain: children are unlikely to swim if a parent can’t swim. Accordingly, Sigma Gamma Rho launched its initiative by teaching Black mothers before focusing on children.

The program also opens the door to career opportunities, such as jobs in marine biology and the Coast Guard, the sorority told The Sun.

SOURCE:  Baltimore Sun

 

Follow The Willie Moore Jr. Show on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

Behind the Scenes at The Willie Moore Jr. Show [PHOTOS]
62 photos

 

 

Sorority Overcoming Stereotype That Blacks Can’t Swim was originally published on newsone.com

Add Your Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s