Thank you to each of our participants in the 2014 Diversity in Aquatics Convention! Information and Pictures will be available soon!
Who could imagine today that before the Civil War, Blacks and Native Americans were universally regarded as the best swimmers in the world, while most Whites could not swim and drowned in appalling numbers? The history of Black swimming is one of the topics explored in detail at the International Aquatic History Symposium and Film Festival, May 9 – 12, at the International Swimming Hall of Fame, in Fort Lauderdale. From the first European encounter with sub-Saharan Africans on Africa’s west coast, Africans were regarded as the world’s greatest swimmers and both free and enslaved African swimmers and divers created enormous wealth for their masters by harvesting pearls, recovering sunken treasures and from their skills in and around the water. Nineteenth and Twentieth Century racism excised this rich aquatic legacy from Black culture with these tragic consequences. Today, as many as 80% of African Americans are not competent and comfortable swimmers and African Americans are 3 to 4 times more likely to drown than Whites. Presentations at the Symposium will debunk the modern, commonly accepted stereotypes that ‘Blacks can’t swim’ and will a lot about our social and cultural history in a way that will fascinate every racial and ethnic group, swimmers and not swimmers alike.
Schedule of Presentations and Events concerning Black or African Diaspora History
Wednesday, May 9th
7:30 PM White Wash, a documentary film, by Ted Woods, that explores the complexity of race through the eyes of the ocean.
Thursday, May 10th
12 Noon Swimming, Surfing, and Underwater Diving in Atlantic Africa. Professor Kevin Dawson, Ph.D. University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Friday, May 11th
11:00 AM Enslaved Swimmer and Divers of the Atlantic World. Professor Kevin Dawson, Ph.D. University of Nevada, Las Vegas
12 Noon Having the Necessities: the DuSable High School Swim Team of Chicago, 1935 to the 1950’s. Robert Pruter, MLIS, Researcher, Historian and author, Lewis University
1:30 PM Unveiling of George Gadson Sculpture dedicated to the recognition of contributions to swimming by African swimmers and swimmers of African descent.
2:10 PM Racism and the design and Culture of American Swimming Pools. Bruce Wigo, J.D, President of the International Swimming Hall of Fame
4:00 PM Strategies for increasing diversity in Aquatic sports, recreation and employment. Panel discussion led by Shaun Anderson, USA Swimming.
ALL SESSIONS WILL BE HELD AT THE INTERNATIONAL SWIMMING HALL OF FAME
ONE HALL OF FAME DRIVE, FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA
For information on attending, contact Bruce Wigo at email@example.com or call 954-462-6536, ext 201.
Join us for a special screening of
And meet the Filmmaker Ted Woods
On Wednesday, May 9that 7:30 PM
At the International Swimming Hall of Fame
One Hall of Fame, Fort Lauderdale, FL
White Wash is a documentary film about surfing that explores the complexity of race in America through the eyes of the ocean. This inspirational story is narrated by the legendary, Grammy Award winner Ben Harper (Fistful of Mercy, Relentless 7, Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals), along with Tariq “Blackthought” Trotter of the Grammy Award winning hip-hop group, The Roots, who also originally scored the film, and appearances by:
Rob Machado, Pro Surfer
Rick Blocker, Black Surf Historian
Rusty White, Surfer
Andrea Kabwasa, Surfer
Dedon Kamathi, Surfer
Kelly Slater, Pro Surfer
Sal Masekela, Surfer and Television Host
Patrick "Quashi" Mitchell, Founder, Quashi Surfboards International
Dr. Audwin Anderson, Sports Sociologist, Texas State University
Dr. Mark Chapman, Chair, African American Studies, Fordham University
Dr. Doug Flamming, Bound for Freedom: Black Los Angeles in Jim Crow America, Georgia Tech University
Pohaku Stone, University of Hawaii
Bruce Wigo, President, International Swimming Hall of Fame
Sam George, Surf Historian and Film Maker
Buttons Kaluhiokalani, Surfer
Lee Pitts, Swim Historian and Instructor
Dr. John Hoberman, Author, Darwin’s Athletes, University of Texas
James Meredith, Integrated University of Mississippi, 1962
Alison Jefferson, Santa Monica Historian
Dr. Charles Ross, Director, African American Studies Program, University of Mississippi
Billy Mystic, Jamaican Surf Team
Solana Lansdowne, Surfer
David Lansdowne, Surfer
Michael Green, Surfer, Founder, Brooklyn Surfer
Seating is limited: Admission is free with a suggested donation of $10