The Importance of Simone Manuel's History Winning Gold Medal at Rio
by Jerry Brewer Washington Post
RIO DE JANEIRO — I can’t swim. My grandmother jokes that she never wants to be in more water than she can drink, and I pretty much agree. So does my mother. And my aunts. And my uncles. And most of my cousins.
We’re not an unusual African American family. The statistics are startling: 68.9 percent of African American children had “low or no swim ability,” according to a 2010 study commissioned by USA Swimming and conducted by the University of Memphis. For Hispanic children, the number was 57.9 percent. For Caucasians, it was 41.8 percent.
And despite all the “black people can’t swim” jokes that comedians use to bring down the house, these are dangerous facts. Black children ages 5 to 19 die from drowning at a rate 5 1/2 times higher than white children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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Yes @swimone13 #SimoneManuel !! Making history last night as the first African-American woman to win a #goldmedal in an individual #swimming event at the #Olympics🎉🎉🎉 love her quote: . “This medal is not just for me, it is for a whole bunch of people that came before me and it’s for all the people after me, who believe they can’t do it and I just want to be an inspiration to others that you can do it.” #inspiration #beautybynature