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    Nominations are due by Feb 15th.  Make your nomination at: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScMZ6aXb-B3o5T1WPw_la5H6H7pqBPdBlGwppbhgkI9xjhx-A/viewform

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Krystal Lara is one of very few Latinas in her class at Stuyvesant High School, and in the pool. She’s backstroking her way toward the Olympics.

From The New York Times:

Her Parents Thought Swimming Lessons Were a Good Idea

Krystal Lara is one of very few Latinas in her class at Stuyvesant High School, and in the pool. She’s backstroking her way toward the Olympics.…

Former Yale swimmer Siphiwe Baleka

Good video about former Yale swimmer Siphiwe Baleka


Black Swimming History Explored During International Aquatic History Symposium and Film Festival

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.




 For information on attending, contact Bruce Wigo at bwigo@ishof.or 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

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Tags: ., Aquatic History Symposium, Bruce Wigo, International Swimming Hall of Fame, Kevin Dawson, Shaun Anderson, Ted Woods, White Wash


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