Segregation at the Swimming Pool


Courtesy: Library of Congress

Seventy percent of African American kids can't swim and are nearly three times more likely to drown. But why? In this episode, Caroline and Cristen examine pre-Civil Rights racism at the swimming pool, 'white flight' from municipal pools and more.

Episode sources:

Gov't safety group urges swimming lessons in black and Hispanic communities. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/govt-safety-group-urges-swimming-lessons-in-black-and-hispanic-communities/

Jones mentors young swimmers. http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/blackhistory2009/news/story?id=3911615

Racial History of American Swimming Pools. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=90213675

Reports Finds a Gap Persists in Swimming. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704717004575268912714114950.html

Research Study Reveals 60 -70% of African-American and Hispanic Kids Can't Swim. http://www.usaswimming.org/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabId=1796&Alias=rainbow&Lang=en

Summertime and Swimming Pool Racism. http://www.racismreview.com/blog/2009/07/08/swimming-pool-racism/

Swim lessons help minority children break cycle. http://www.cnn.com/2012/05/10/us/cnnheroes-butts-josh-project/index.html

Unintentional Drowning: Get the Facts. http://www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Water-Safety/waterinjuries-factsheet.html

Academic insights:

Contested Waters: A Social History of Swimming Pools in America. Jeff Wilte. UNC Press. 2010. http://uncpress.unc.edu/books/T-7981.html

"Race, Place, and Play: Robert Moses and the WPA Swimming Pools in New York City." Marta Gutman. Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians. December 2008. http://www.academia.edu/465674/_Race_Place_and_Play_Robert_Moses_and_the_WPA_Swimming_Pools_in_New_York_City_

Topics in this Podcast: history, swimming, race, racism, exercise