August 12, 2016

The Importance of Simone Manuel's History Winning Gold Medal at Rio

I’m black and I can’t swim. Simone Manuel showed America why it must change. 
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.

Read the rest of the article at the Washington Post

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