I’ve heard that before, from Black and white people alike, that Black people can’t swim or don’t swim. There are historical reasons for this as well as financial reasons. I know where I was growing up, we had swimming lessons at school, Primary school, and I didn’t;t like them because I had to get undressed in front of all the girls. Mine was the only Black body in the changing room, and my body was more developed that alone else there. Also I had trouble getting all my hair under the swimming cap, that is when I wore one. It hurt my head.
Black Can’t Swim is a new film coming out which explores our relationship to swimming. As it’s not as simple as not being bothered. Black children are 3 to 4 times more likely to drown than white children simply because they can’t swim.
I wild swim in the North Sea. This is my medicine. But I know it isn’t easy to get into the water, especially if there is no one in your family who cam swim and if you don’t see people like yourself in the water. And there is always going to be an issue about water and Black people’s hair. But it’s not worth losing your life over.
I look forward to seeing Black Can’t Swim: The Sequel.