THIS IS ACTUALLY FACTUAL AND NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED MORE
“Knowing that they were losing “valuable product” due to their slaves’ propensity to swim, slave owners began taking drastic steps to protect their property. One of these steps was to instill a fear of the water by dunking disobedient slaves in water until they nearly drowned and by creating fear through stories of creatures living in the water. Thus it didn’t take long to excise or destroy the West African swimming tradition from African- American culture. The Jim Crow laws that were enacted after The Civil War prohibited blacks from the popular seaside resorts in places like Atlantic City, N.J. and Revere Beach, Mass. And by the 20th Century, as the swimming pool began to gain in popularity in the United States, the color line prohibited blacks from enjoying this pleasant recreational skill.
In addition, self-segregation also played a role in limiting those of African ancestry from getting in the water. I remember my Aunt saying to stay away from the pool because, “black folk don’t swim.””
Such a long and consistent history of anti-Blackness and swimming. Long before police openly assaulted little black girls in McKinney, GoodWhitePeople™ were enforcing White Supremacy and segregating swimming pools.
Next time you hear someone ask questions like, “Why don’t black people swim?” Or “Why are so many black people afraid of dogs?” And, “Why are there do so many black people live in poverty?”…..let ‘em know that those aren’t coincidences. These things didn’t just happen naturally, all on their own. There’s a reason for it, and you don’t have to be an historian to know they’re all interconnected through slavery, endemic racism and persistently racist cultural norms.