Black people not knowing how to swim is a well-known myth and stereotype that the ladies of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. are on their way to dismantling. The sorority is keeping up with their mission of community service, civil and social action by embarking on a new mission that will save lives. The Greek organization has been partnering up with USA Swimming to host swim clinics around the country for the past 5 years to help teach young black kids how to swim. The initiative is called Swim 1992, in tribute to Sigma Gamma Rho’s founding year. It was created to address the high rate at which young black kids drown every year.
The ratio is alarming when it comes to comparing black kids who drown to any other races. These numbers are attributed to a number of factors including the fact that many neighborhoods with predominately black residents don’t have public swimming pools. We must also consider the historic segregation of African Americans from swimming pools that may have started a generational problem when it comes to swimming and/or learning how to swim. All of these factors and more contribute to the fact that black children drown 5.5 times more than other children.
Major thank you to Sigma Gamma Rho for taking it upon themselves to change this problem with a hands-on approach! #BlackGirlMagic
“Parents are taking their kids to pools and the beach, and so many of them don’t know how to swim. Anything could happen while they are in the water.” – Barbara Sawyer, president of the Baltimore chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho