Yes I am black and I can swim, barely.
As a child I never took swimming lessons but I love pools and the ocean. Over time I learned how not to drown. As an adult I took lessons to improve my strokes and endurance.
Now that we have children, my wife and I make it a priority for our kids to learn to swim. We are putting swimming on the same level as reading and math. We want to break the stereotype that black people don’t swim. (Yes, my wife knows how to swim, she is a Trini born in Canada 😂).
When our children are older and get asked if they know how to swim, we want their answer to be “Yes, Don’t You?”.
We want swimming to be like any regular thing they do. If they show interest we want them to compete and excel.
They already have a great example of swimming excellence in our family.
My cousin who like me can barely swim, recently had his 12 year old son cross the Saint Laurent River in 1 hour and 4 minutes.
Again HE IS 12 !! Félicitations Charles-Antoine!
This is to show that an inability doesn’t have to be generational. It is up to us as parents to encourage our children to try and do things we don’t know how to. Not just swimming but anything that is not considered cultural to us.
My kids may not cross the Saint Laurent like their superfish cousin but they definitely wont think it’s as impossible as my generation did.