Long gone are the days of saying, “Black people can’t swim.” But we still have a ways to go, and that is why swim lessons taught by instructors that look like us are so important.
According to a USA Swimming Foundation nationwide study, 64% of African American children cannot swim.
For some time now, Black professional swimming coaches have been working to increase the number of Black swimmers through courses and schools. Learning how to swim means having a better quality of life, and it makes vacations much more fun when you and your family can swim to enjoy the pool or ocean.
We’ve rounded-up this list of Black-owned organizations that provide swim lessons for Black communities to help you and your family learn to swim safely, and while having fun.
1. Swim, Swim, Swim, I Say- New York, NY
Located in Harlem, New York, Swim, Swim, Swim I Say is a Black-owned swimming school founded by Agnes Davis, who is also one of the instructors.
She has turned her passion of loving the water and swimming into an opportunity to save lives and get people healthy.
“Forget about the latest cell phone model or pair of celebrity sneakers. Invest in swim lessons, making sure your child/family has a lifesaving skill, and be proactive against accidental drowning. Lastly, look into free programs, they are out there,” Davis said in an article for NBC News.
2. Tank Proof - Austin, TX
Tankproof was founded in 2011 by twins Thurman and Torrence Thomas.
Tankproof is a non-profit that partners with swim schools to offer free lessons for underserved youth.
The goal is to provide access, equity, and opportunity through swimming lessons to make communities safer and even save lives.
Tankproof has served over 2,350 individuals nationwide with multiple sites in Louisiana, as well as in Austin, Texas, and San Francisco, California.
3. Rhythm and Stroke LLC, Cleveland, OH
Founded in 2014 by Andre Morton, Rhythm and Stroke LLC is an aquatics organization focused on aquatic exercise as well as swim survival and technique development.
Morton has been an aquatics Instructor for over ten years, working at both the high school and collegiate level. He also swam competitively for several years.
4. Black People Will Swim - New York, NY
5. Evolutionary Aquatics - Charlotte, NC
With the motto ‘diversity and inclusion through recreational aquatics’, Evolutionary Acquatics is a North Carolina Non Profit Organization founded in 2014.
Located in Charlotte, NC, EA provides low to no-cost adult swim lessons, a strong Black-centered swim community, and recreational aquatic programming for everyone.