Drowning Deaths Spark Public Discussion of Swimming in Black American Populations


The recent loss in Louisiana of six black American youths to a single drowning incident has opened public discussion on the topic of most African Americans’ inability to swim. Recent studies show nearly 70% of black children are unable to swim or have very low swimming skills. While some individuals find it curious that blacks rarely learn to swim, many in the academic community attribute the figures to socio-economic conditions and the cultural beliefs and standards which have arisen from them.

In the United States, there are an average of ten drowning deaths per day, and according to the University of Memphis and USA Swimming study, African American children are three times more likely to die from drowning than are the children of other ethnic and racial groups.

Picture Credit: Angela Radulescu

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