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Everyone can learn to swim Comfort comes first You can float vertically Overcoming fear IS learning to swim Having fun is the best way to learn Feel safe all the time Overcome fear without feeling afraid Go at your own pace Learn with your swimming people It’s amazing what 5 days can do Correct information does wonders!

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People of Color and Swimming

All People of Color

People of Color are welcome at Miracle Swimming School for Adults. All adults need to know how to swim. Come to learn in a place where you feel safe, not only as an adult non-swimmer but as a person of color.

We are proud of the diversity in our classes. We are ever increasing our race literacy at MSSA.

 


Debunk myths in the African American community and reclaim swimming.

There was once a notion that African Americans’ bodies were denser than caucasians’ bodies and that this gave African Americans a disadvantage in learning to swim. This notion was debunked, but word still hasn’t gotten around. Banish that thought. It doesn’t matter, anyway.

african imageLia Neal

If someone is not a floater, whoever they are, it need not be an emergency. Most people float. Very few people are sinkers.  And sinking is not dangerous. Panic is dangerous. But it’s unnecessary. Many or most of the Olympic swimmers’ bodies are so dense that they don’t float! But obviously, they are good, safe swimmers.

There’s a rich heritage of African and African American swimming. A history of West Africans’ water proficiency is beautifully told in Ken Dawson’s Undercurrents of Power: Aquatic Culture in the African Diaspora.

Team U.S.A.’s Simone Manuel was the Gold Medalist in the Rio Olympics 100 Meter Freestyle and 2019’s double Gold Medalist in the two sprint freestyle events at the World Championships in North Korea. No one had ever won both before.

Lia Neal was on Team USA’s 4×100 Freestyle Relay in two Olympics, winning silver and bronze medals: 2012, 2016.

Maritza Correia was a three-time world champion and the first African American woman on the US Olympic Team in 2004. Cullen Jones was Team USA’s Gold Medalist in sprint freestyle events in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. These athletes draw light to the fact that blacks not only swim, but can be the very best at swimming, as in other sports.

Messages like, “We don’t swim” circulate in the African American community but it doesn’t have to be that way. Adults can set an example for youth by learning to swim and teaching others that everyone can learn.

cullen jonesLia Neal

If someone is not a floater, whoever they are, it need not be an emergency. Very few people are sinkers. Most people float. And sinking is not dangerous. Panic is dangerous. But it’s unnecessary. Many or most of the Olympic swimmers have bodies that are so dense that they don’t float! But obviously, they are good, safe swimmers.

There’s a rich heritage of African and African American swimming. A history of West Africans’ water proficiency is beautifully told in Ken Dawson’s Undercurrents of Power: Aquatic Culture in the African Diaspora.

Team U.S.A.’s Simone Manuel was the Gold Medalist in the Rio Olympics 100 Meter Freestyle and 2019’s double Gold Medalist in the two sprint freestyle events at the World Championships in North Korea. No one had ever won both before.

Lia Neal was on Team USA’s 4×100 Freestyle Relay in two Olympics, winning silver and bronze medals: 2012, 2016.

Hair Care Challenges

“Yes, we all want to look good. But if you’re struggling in deep water somewhere, hair will not be your concern. Surviving will be the issue of the moment. Knowing how to stay in control, tread water, or float calmly on your back will make the difference when it comes to controlling your own destiny.

Think about it. What would you say to braids or corn rows, or short hair for a few months, or getting your hair done the day after class, so you can become safe in water at last, for the rest of your life? So you can enjoy the water with your kids or grandchildren?” -Jo Beverly, Miracle Swimming Grad

A Message on Treading

The Ship Must Be Turned

In order to teach all people to swim and to end drowning, we must define learning to swim in a way that makes each person peaceful in deep water. This has nothing to do with learning strokes. For a heavy dose of Melon’s main passion, go to her blog.

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The bottom line: all people are good even if you have to dig “way deep” to find them.