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African-American Swimmers

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Jarvis DeBerry of highlights historical events in Louisiana and Mississippi that contributed to African Americans having a fear of the water or simply not learning how to swim.  In the 1930s and 1940s black swimmers were not allowed to swim in many public pools and chose instead to swim in unsafe canals and dangerous parts of the Mississippi River. “Maybe black people in New Orleans swim less than white people because they associate swimming with death. And maybe they associate swimming with death because family members who gave swimming a try had to resort to deadlier waters.” Read DeBerry’s full article on 

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