New York Times, August 10, 2012
Cullen Jones and Lia Neal were among the many swimmers to win medals for the United States in this year’s Olympic Games. But their inspiring performances obscure a disturbing truth. Not only are they, as African-Americans, anomalies in the elite levels of their sport, but enormous numbers of African-Americans do not have even rudimentary swimming skills, a lack that costs lives.
…Horizons National, an academic summer program…partners low-income schools with independent schools and colleges that have access to swimming pools. Here’s a quote (posted on the program’s Web site) from one participant: “When I started Horizons I was so afraid of the water that I would not even go in the shallow end. Learning how to swim and overcoming that fear helped me realize that I could do anything.” Who said this? Algernon Kelley, who now has a Ph.D. in chemistry and lectured at Xavier University of Louisiana. Read the full article at nytimes.com.