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Will Simone Manuel Inspire More Black Children to Swim? When Kendall Williams let her daughter, Bailey, paddle happily in a swimming class on the South Side of Chicago as a preschooler, she noticed the other parents seemed anxious.

Gretchen Reynolds/ | The New York Times “I don’t think any of them knew how to swim,” Ms. Williams said. “And they were afraid of the water and afraid for their kids.” Ms. Williams, 45, and her daughter are African-American, as were most of the other families at the swimming class. While Bailey, now almost 9, swims competitively, most of the other children dropped out of the program. Ms. Williams’s experience reflects one of the more intractable racial divides in American sports and culture. In the United States, a substantial majority of African-American young people and adults cannot swim or […]

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