According to USA Swimming, more than double the amount of African American children cannot swim compared to white children today. The study shows more than 58% African American children cannot swim causing the drowning rate to be inflated by nearly three times the overall population rate. Early on in Americas history white kids were taught from their parents to stay divided from other cultures causing inequalities and struggles for cultures such as the African American community trying to live the same life as everybody else in America. This damaging mindset caused long term negative effects that even linger to today’s society.
In the early 20th century swimming was a major priority compared to today. The limited access African American people had in the prime swimming time caused long term negative effects. Before the 1960s pool segregation was to the extreme. White business owners would not allow any black individuals go swimming at their pools and they struggled to even find a place to do activities such as swimming, going to theme parks, bowling, hockey, etc. Even when the 1964 Civil Right Act was set into law many businesses fled to become privately owned outside of the cities so they could still segregate who can go to their businesses. Some businesses would try to fill their pools with customers to keep segregation and even create membership clubs with chargeable fees at some of the remaining public pools that were still operating.
Here at the Tukwila Pool, it’s our mission to provide a welcoming inclusive aquatic environment for all diversities in our communities with a commitment to providing water safety education and activities. To outreach to our community, we provide water safety scholarships for American Red Cross swim lessons and aquatic education classes such as Lifeguarding, First Aid / CPR. Everyone is welcomed, we’re all in!