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Black American's don't swim?

Black American's don't swim?

Old Apr 10th 2012, 8:29 am
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Default Black American's don't swim?

This a a rather odd thing.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-11172054

A month ago, six African-American teenagers drowned in a single incident in Louisiana, prompting soul-searching about why so many young black Americans can't swim.

When 15-year-old DeKendrix Warner accidentally stepped into deeper water while wading in the Red River in Shreveport, he panicked.

JaTavious Warner, 17, Takeitha Warner, 13, JaMarcus Warner, 14, Litrelle Stewart, 18, Latevin Stewart, 15, and LaDarius Stewart, 17, rushed to help him and each other.

None of them could swim. All six drowned. DeKendrix was rescued by a passer-by.

Maude Warner, mother of three of the victims, and the other adults present also couldn't swim.

The US has almost 3,500 accidental drownings every year, almost 10 a day.

But according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the fatal drowning rate of African-American children aged five-14 is three times that of white children.

A recent study sponsored by USA Swimming uncovered equally stark statistics.

Just under 70% of African-American children surveyed said they had no or low ability to swim. Low ability merely meant they were able to splash around in the shallow end. A further 12% said they could swim but had "taught themselves".

The study found 58% of Hispanic children had no or low swimming ability. For white children, the figure was only 42%.
and there's more on the link


I find it odd that if adult (at least those in the West who have the opportunity to do so) hasn't learned to swim.

(It's probably not quite right to mention it, but what odd names those boys had.)
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Old Apr 10th 2012, 8:31 am
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Default Re: Black American's don't swim?

Oh no - awful typo in title. The shame of it!!

Need more coffee

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Old Apr 10th 2012, 9:41 am
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Default Re: Black American's don't swim?

Most European countries put swimming in their national curriculum...the UK especially.

The USA doesn't do this. Combine this will a low rate of public pools, junk science that says black people don't float as well (wtf??) and historical segregation that kept black people out of public pools and it's not hard to see why a lot of black Americans can't swim.

It is changing though - especially in the black middle class.

N.
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Old Apr 10th 2012, 9:45 am
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Default Re: Black American's don't swim?

Originally Posted by Meow View Post
Oh no - awful typo in title. The shame of it!!

Need more coffee

It won't be forgotten.

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Old Apr 10th 2012, 10:16 am
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Default Re: Black American's don't swim?

Africans rarely feature in Olympic Swimming events either. My African misses reckons it's because the hippos and crocodiles scare them off back home.
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Old Apr 10th 2012, 10:32 am
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Default Re: Black American's don't swim?

I always thought black people couldn't swim owing to something to do with muscle mass?? They are genetically far superior at running (When was the last white winner of a 100m Race) but generally sink like bricks in water?

Then again, white men can't jump either.
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Old Apr 10th 2012, 10:39 am
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Default Re: Black American's don't swim?

Originally Posted by mentalist View Post
Africans rarely feature in Olympic Swimming events either. My African misses reckons it's because the hippos and crocodiles scare them off back home.
I have never seen a crocodile or hippo in a swimming pool
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Old Apr 10th 2012, 10:43 am
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Default Re: Black American's don't swim?

Originally Posted by Meow View Post
This a a rather odd thing.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-11172054

A month ago, six African-American teenagers drowned in a single incident in Louisiana, prompting soul-searching about why so many young black Americans can't swim.

When 15-year-old DeKendrix Warner accidentally stepped into deeper water while wading in the Red River in Shreveport, he panicked.

JaTavious Warner, 17, Takeitha Warner, 13, JaMarcus Warner, 14, Litrelle Stewart, 18, Latevin Stewart, 15, and LaDarius Stewart, 17, rushed to help him and each other.

None of them could swim. All six drowned. DeKendrix was rescued by a passer-by.

Maude Warner, mother of three of the victims, and the other adults present also couldn't swim.

The US has almost 3,500 accidental drownings every year, almost 10 a day.

But according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the fatal drowning rate of African-American children aged five-14 is three times that of white children.

A recent study sponsored by USA Swimming uncovered equally stark statistics.

Just under 70% of African-American children surveyed said they had no or low ability to swim. Low ability merely meant they were able to splash around in the shallow end. A further 12% said they could swim but had "taught themselves".

The study found 58% of Hispanic children had no or low swimming ability. For white children, the figure was only 42%.
and there's more on the link


I find it odd that if adult (at least those in the West who have the opportunity to do so) hasn't learned to swim.

(It's probably not quite right to mention it, but what odd names those boys had.)
I messes up the "Do" (hairstyle) so they don't want to get the hair wet. No, I am not kidding.
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Old Apr 10th 2012, 10:48 am
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Default Re: Black American's don't swim?

Originally Posted by weasel decentral View Post
I have never seen a crocodile or hippo in a swimming pool
You obviously haven't been to Nairobi recently. Leopards on the 12th tee are also quite common, dear chap.
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Old Apr 10th 2012, 10:49 am
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Default Re: Black American's don't swim?

Originally Posted by mentalist View Post
You obviously haven't been to Nairobi recently. Leopards on the 12th tee are also quite common, dear chap.
But there are lots of black golfers, somewhat negating your point.
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Old Apr 10th 2012, 1:04 pm
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Default Re: Black American's don't swim?

Originally Posted by Alexa View Post
I messes up the "Do" (hairstyle) so they don't want to get the hair wet. No, I am not kidding.

True, for many of the women at least.

Fact of the matter is, that in Sub-Saharan Africa, there are very few public swimming pools.
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Old Apr 10th 2012, 1:07 pm
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Default Re: Black American's don't swim?

Originally Posted by Oyibopeppeh View Post
True, for many of the women at least.

Fact of the matter is, that in Sub-Saharan Africa, there are very few public swimming pools.
What, with all that rain? And the surplus of money to build them? You'd think they'd be everywhere.
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Old Apr 10th 2012, 1:10 pm
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Default Re: Black American's don't swim?

Originally Posted by Bahtatboy View Post
And the surplus of money to build them?

Which is usually divvied up between the chosen few before heading off to Zurich or London....
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Old Apr 10th 2012, 2:07 pm
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Default Re: Black American's don't swim?

Having lived in both Africa and America, I will pontificate on this one.

I think in both instances there is a cultural legacy, perhaps the American situation having originated in the African one but that may be over-extrapolating.

There is a very good reason not to swim in most of Africa: in fresh water it is the risk of catching the awful Schistosomiasis; in sea water it is the deadly currents that prevail around large parts of the continent, particularly West Africa, the most populous part. It's easy to see then, how cultural taboos would have formed around these very stark natural realities.

In the southern US, from where most black Americans originate, swimming was completely segregated and thus essentially a "white" activity. It is interesting to observe how these norms have persisted, perhaps out of a visceral sense of group solidarity. Many of my cosmopolitan, well-educated middle-class black friends still tend to avoid activities that are considered "too white" - skiing is another classic. That's why Tiger Woods and the Williams sisters were such significant breakthroughs in previously white-dominated activities so recently.

I would imagine in Loiusiana, the most incredibly racist place I have ever been (and that includes the rest of the south and Boer heartlands in RSA), those norms remain strongly entrenched. So swimming is not a popular activity for black kids. The distinctive practices developed over the past few decades by (in general) lower income African Americans in naming their children would also appear to be another manifestation of this group solidarity and assertion of separateness in response to exclusion. Ironic that it tends to entrench the disadvantages at which it seeks to cock a snook.

As the legendary George Clinton put it in Aqua Boogie:
"Never learned to swim, couldn't catch the rhythm of the stroke..."
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Old Apr 10th 2012, 3:06 pm
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Default Re: Black American's don't swim?

The trouble is........ there may actually be a physiological or genetic reason why blacks can run short or long distances very well (100m, marathon), but are poor swimmers............. but nobody will ever know, because the very thought of researching that will immediately attract accusations of racism.............
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