This year, Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, N.Y., is proud to announce a new addition to the college, a 25-yard and five-lane pool. This addition is helping to close the racial gap of who can and cannot swim in society. The racial gap is caused by the lack of access in pools and beaches for African-Americans, and the history of segregation. In the United States, 70 percent of African-Americans and 60 percent of Latino children cannot swim or swim poorly. For many years, Black people were forbidden by law to participate in everyday activities, including swimming in public pools.
Medgar Ever College wants to give the opportunity that wasn’t given to our ancestors. “People don’t know how to swim when they don’t have access to pools,” said Rene Bostic, the director of athletics for Medgar Evers College. “Our pool is available for rentals. We would like to see our community take advantage of it. There are not a lot of pools around that are centrally located like we are.”
Medgar Evers College, a branch of the City University of New York, with a predominantly Black student population, established in 1970, offers both associate and baccalaureate degrees. The college is located in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, where children of all colors are taught in the new pool by Imagine Swimming. The company teaches students from the age of six months to 18 years. For more information, please visit www.mec.cuny.edu.